Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Chilli Jam...

A couple of times a year I make my extra spicy preferred accompaniment to, well, just about everything really. Its cheap (especially if you make your own pectin, grow your own chillies or visit a market), easy to make and lasts ages.


800g to 1kg of whatever fresh chillies you can get
1kg granulated sugar
2 lemons (juice of) 
250ml distilled (clear) malt vinegar
250ml bottle of Certo apple pectin (most supermarkets stock it)

Oh and a pinch of salt, you don't actually need it but I'm not sure if this actually counts as a recipe without 'a pinch of salt'.


NB - for gentlemen partaking, have a pee before you start. If you need  go half way through (and even if you wash your hands several times first) you WILL regret it and end up sitting in a bath of cold water praying for the pain to go away. Do not rely on rubber gloves either! This is the voice of experience, not recent experience but you'll never forget it.

Wash and chop the chillies nice and small. I cheated and used a mini food processor. Now as I like to use just a tiny amount of chilli jam, say in a burger, I make it nice and hot. About a fifth of my chillies are evil little scotch bonnets.

Put the lemon juice, vinegar and sugar in a large pan and warm up over a gentle heat just to dissolve the sugar, stir only occasionally if needed. Stirring too much can recrystallize the sugar and then its a bin job.

Once its just about dissolved and clear add the chopped chillies. Give a quick stir and increase the heat to a simmer. This needs to be reduced in volume by about one fifth. Stir only occasionally.

Once it has reduced and ever so slightly thickened, ramp up the heat to a rolling boil and keep it bubbling evilly for a few minutes. Be careful of splashes and breathing too much of the steam (unless you need to clear out your sinuses).

Take off the heat and stir in the the whole 250ml of Certo pectin. Leave off the heat to cool slightly and bottle into small sterilised jars. Because it is so spicy I use 100ml kilner jars. If you bottle it whilst its too hot the chillies may well all float to the top, I try and wait a good twenty minutes so it starts to set a bit.


This recipe makes about 1.25 litres of very firm set chilli jam. If you want it softer use about 3/4 of a bottle of Certo, closer to 1/2 a bottle should be more of a sauce consistency.

This is just a basic recipe. I've made it with garlic and ginger (fry the garlic first or the vinegar will turn it bright green), and smoked chilli and lime with not so hot chillies and as a softer set for more of a dipping sauce consistency.

If you make this late in the summer Google a recipe for making pectin from crab apples. It works very well and halves the cost. My batch cost just under £5 with the shop bought pectin and the chillies were bought for £1.40 from Birmingham market.


Goes great on toast, muffins and bagels (just a tiny bit) topped with cream cheese. Chilli & phily.

On just about anything BBQ'd 

Half a teaspoon, and a couple of tablespoons each of yoghurt and mayo makes a great dip.

With some oil and soy sauce as a basting marinade for fish and chicken.

A little bit gives a nice kick to a beef stew or any pasta sauce, Chilli Mac 'n' cheese - nnnyyummmm.

Not too many ingredients in the basic recipe

Ready to simmer and reduce by about one fifth

Reduced and slightly thickened, ready for the full boil and pectin

That should last the summer!

1 comment:

  1. Yum! That makes a cheese sandwich way more exciting and 'the' cold meat platter will be transformed. Thanks x lovely to see you both, take care x