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Nov 04

Cheap Homemade Christmas Presents: Chilli Jam

I have never liked shop-bought sweet chilli sauce. It has a weird, fake-garlic, chemical flavour. So, I thought I’d make my own. Plus – these lovely, jewel-red little jars make great homemade foodie Christmas presents – fantastic with all those cold meats, ham and turkey after the big day. Also wonderful with all the autumn sausages, bacon and gammon roasts I am wolfing down at the moment. Plus with cheese. In fact, is there anything you can’t have chilli jam with? My husband tells me the smallish, 250g jars of chilli jam from the farmers’ market are selling for around £4. So this is definitely cheaper than that – it’s only veg and sugar, after all. This recipe is adapted from one by Nadia Sawalha/BBC Good Food.

Recipe: Chill Jam

Ingredients (makes around 4 jars)

  • 7 red peppers, washed, deseeded, quartered
  • 8-10 fresh red chillis (or 2 x 50g bags), washed de-topped, sliced in half
  • 10 garlic cloves, deskinned
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 700g sugar
  • 200g red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt

Method 

  1. Chilli Jam, photo: Sarah Lockett

    Chilli Jam, photo: Sarah Lockett

    Blitz the peppers, chilli and garlic in a food processor (I had to do half then add the other half when it had reduced in volume and blitzed down a bit).

  2. Pour into a big stainless steel pan with the other ingredients and bring to the boil, then simmer, uncovered for 2 hours.
  3. Towards the end, wash through some glass jars, and their lids, in very hot water.
  4. Dry upside down on a clean tea towel on the draining board – then use a little jug to fill the jars.
  5. Put the lids on reasonably tight, while they’re still hot.
  6. Allow to cool then label prettily.

Tip: I keep mine in the fridge, even unopened, but it’s probably not necessary. Give as presents or serve with cold meats and cheese, or stir a big teaspoonful into bolognaise/pesto pasta/tomato-based sauces/casseroles etc.

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