Sweet Chilli Jam

20151116-084730.jpgThis stuff is gorgeous!.  Sweet, sticky with a chilli kick, it’s a superb addition to any hamper or plate of nibbles.  It’s also a brilliant way to use up those chillis and peppers you’ve spent all summer cultivating and are now daunted by.  You’ll be able to taste the sweet red piquant sunshine for a few months to come without worry about waste.

This preserve is a real luxury, taking some of your most expensive fruit, and adding a considerable amount of sugar, it is not a frugal or a wholesome recipe, but it is a wonderful compliment to any dish that needs a little kick, and makes an indulgent little gift.

I have taken this recipe directly from the BBC good food website.  I will write out exactly what I did and how it turned out, but I make absolutely no claims to it whatsoever.  The recipe is very well reviewed on their website and it’s worth a look to see what people are saying about this little gem.

This makes just over 1kg of jam, or 4-5 small (200g-250g) jars.

8 red peppers

10 chillis

8 cloves of garlic

2 inch chunk of ginger

250ml of red wine vinegar

750g of golden granulated sugar

1 400g tin of tomatoes

20151116-084751.jpgRoughly chop and deseed the peppers and chills (leave the seeds in the chillis if you prefer more heat, they do look pretty in the finished jar but I chose to deseed them as I’m a bit of a wimp!), then peel and cut the garlic and ginger into chunks.  Put all this into a food processor and whizz up for a minute or so until it is all very finely chopped.

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I nearly needed a bigger food processor!

20151116-084653.jpgTransfer the chopped mixture to a large preserving pan, add the sugar, vinegar and the tin of tomatoes and heat gently to dissolve the sugar.

20151116-084637.jpgThen bring the pan to a rapid boil and let it reduce for about an hour.  The mixture will eventually become more translucent and sticky and begin to look like thick bubbling lava.

20151116-084602.jpgWhile you’re waiting, prepare your jars by washing and sterilising them in the oven or dishwasher and collect your utensils for decanting the jam.  Once it’s ready, turn off the heat and give the jam a few minutes to cool sightly before ladling into jars and screwing the lids on tight.

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Served here dolloped on top of Godminster Organic Black Pepper Brie and an oatcake.

I’m not going to price this one up.  All these ingredients, bought from an organic retailer would be very expensive, especially when you consider this recipe only makes 5 small jars.  This is a brilliant, but luxury recipe!  Most of my preserving adventures are born out of a need to deal with a glut, or surplus of something grown by myself or a friend.  The chillis were a present from a friend’s greenhouse, and the peppers were supplemented by the supermarket – my peppers have never been that successful, but this year I managed to cultivate a few.  This recipe will be the sort of thing I’ll be making over the festive season; to get the most out of it, and to highlight its true luxury I would consider jarring it up in miniatures and using it as an addition to little gift hampers for friends and family.  In that case this 1kg of jam will go a long way and the significant expenditure on the organic fruit would be well worth it…. Just as long as my husband doesn’t eat it all first.

Now I’m squirrelling away all my tiny jars for the next time I’m given another handful of ripe red chilli peppers.

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