Saturday, 1 October 2011

Sun is out but it is Chilli here at the moment

Summer has definitely arrived very late this year and the temperatures here at the moment are the highest they have been since May.  The so called summer months here were a grey wet disappointment and the garden and crops have suffered for it

The outdoor chilli plants are now finally mostly ripe and the greenhouse is full of somewhat over-ripe tomatoes basking in the autumn sun. They are definitely on the squishy side now so need using up. I'm picky- only firm tomatoes go into salad!

The chilli crop is well down on last year. it just hasn't been warm or sunny enough for them but I still have plenty in the freezer from last year so I'm happy to use the few I have this year in chilli jam.

This is a cross between a jam and a chutney, great with cold meat or cheese.

I haven't been able to adapt it successfully to the slow cooker method, the tomatoes are generally much too juicy so back to the traditional methods this time.

The recipe is simple
  • 1 1/2 lbs of ripe tomatoes
  • 8oz of sugar - I used up some golden sugar I had but white is fine. Brown sugar will give a darker jam.
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2-4   whole red chillies   - adjust to suit. I use a lot of very hot chillies but follow your own heat tolerance here.
  • About an inch of fresh root ginger - peeled
  • 8floz red wine vinegar

Blend  the chillies with the garlic, ginger and half the tomatoes. Add the vinegar and blend again
Place in large thick bottomed saucepan
Chop the remaining tomatoes fairly finely and and add to the blended mix
Bring to the boil and simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours stirring occasionally  until it  gets to a thick jammy consistency
Allow to cool slightly and seal into sterilised jars. Cover immediately and keep in a cool dark place.

As you can see these quantities do not make a lot - not a bad thing. Chillies vary a huge amount in potency so it is worth trying a test batch like this first before making a large quantity.
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