This is one of the easiest preserves to make and it tastes wonderful.
I always make a large batch towards late summer once the chillies are ready in the greenhouse. It is a great way to use up a glut of ripe tomatoes, but this chilli jam works very well using tinned tomatoes.
A versatile preserve
The chilli jam goes particularly well with cold meats, cheeses, sausages. It also excellent added to a pork pie filling before baking or for sausage rolls, spread a little over the pastry before placing the sausagemeat filling on top and rolling up.
I am partial to the chilli jam spread on good bread, topped with cheese and then grilled for an addictively moreish twist to good old cheese on toast!
I also use this chilli jam as a topping or filling for my savoury twist on scones.
I do like to vary this recipe each time I make a batch; there are so many tweaks that work well here:
- adding more chilli if you prefer it hotter
- varying the type of chilli (a little smoked chilli is wonderful)
- stepping up the soy sauce
- more garlic
- adding red peppers
- using tamarind or lime juice for a more sour note
- replacing the balsamic vineger with cider or wine vinegar
- using different sugars (palm sugar is excellent)
Chilli Jam – makes about 4 medium jars
- approx. 800g skinned tomatoes*, peeled and roughly chopped (or use 2 tins of tomatoes)
- 3 whole red or green chillies (or use more)
- 3-4cm chunk of ginger, peeled
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 200g granulated sugar
- 200g soft brown sugar
- 150ml balsamic vinegar
- 50ml dark soy sauce
- a few crushed peppercorns
(1) Blitz or blend all ingredients together until finely chopped in a food processor or blender. You can go for chunkier jam if you prefer – in which case, don’t blitz to a pulp.
(2) Pour this mixture into a pan and bring it to the boil, boiling it for between 20 and 30 mins, stirring occasionally so that it does not catch on the bottom, until it thickens and becomes syrupy. You can boil for longer for a firmer set, but 20-30 mins should give a soft set jam.
(3) Remove pan off heat and leave jam to cool in pan for about 10 mins.
(4) Pour the chilli jam into sterilised jars. It is ready to eat when cooled, but benefits from maturing for a month or so
* to skin tomatoes, place them in a large bowl and pour over boiling water. Within about 30 seconds the skins will have burst. Drain off the water and the skins will peel off effortlessly.