Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chilli Jam - Third time lucky?


It took me about 3 years to perfect this recipe, but I think I have finally cracked it!
Chilli and red pepper jam is the perfect accompaniment to cheese and biscuits, and excellent in a toasted cheese sandwich.

Recipe:
- 100g long fresh red chillies
- 200g roasted red peppers (these normally come in a jar with oil)
- 1kg jam sugar
- 600ml cider vinegar
- 6 x 250ml sealable jars (I used old jam jars, which can fit about 300ml in)




1. Sterilise the jars. I did this by washing the jars up, leaving them to air dry, then heating up the oven to 180 degrees, lay all of the jars and lids on a baking tray or roasting tray, and put them in the oven for 20 minutes, but try to make sure none of the jars are touching! Be really careful not to move the jars as you take them out, because they can break really easily when hot! The sealant on the jar lids may also melt a bit and go dark, it is nothing to worry about,


2. Drain and roughly chop the peppers. Core, de-seed and roughly chop the chillies. 
Roughly chopped chilli
3. Put the chillies and peppers into a food processor and blitz them - you might want to do this in 2 parts. If you don't have a food processor, you will just have to chop them really finely!
4. In a saucepan (a big one), heat the cider vinegar and dissolve the sugar into it.
5. When all the sugar has dissolved, add the chilli and peppers. Bring to a fierce boil, for 10-15 minutes. I will warn you again, be careful and watch the pan! I think that I have spilled some every time! The jam will be ready when you dip a spoon into the jam, leave it to cool for one minute, then can drag your finger through the jam and everything should stay still (the jam shouldn't run onto where your finger was) and then it should be set. Remember it will thicken more as it cools.
Think I need a bigger pan next time!
6. Leave it to cool in the pan
7. While its still warm, put the jam into the jars. I poured it into a jug, then into the jars. Put the lids on, then leave them to cool in a cupboard (not the fridge!)
WARNING!! Only pour hot/warm jam into warm jars or cool jam into cool jars! The temperature change may make them crack!

This was probably my best batch, the roasted red peppers definitely make it taste better!
I think my hunt for the perfect chilli jam recipe may be over, but I would still like to experiment and add tomatoes and maybe garlic. I won't be altering the type of vinegar or red peppers though.
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