Our beloved gardening and baking experts, BBC Gardener's World’s Mark Lane and Great British Bake Off contestant Val Stones, have shared their expertise for our October Plant to Plate recipe, which incorporates homegrown chillies as the base for chilli jam.
Val’s thoughts and tips:
My sister, who lives in New Jersey, introduced me to chilli jam. She grows chillies in her garden along with many other vegetables, but the rabbits and chipmunks decimate her beautiful crops no matter how much netting she puts around them. The "critters”, as we call them, won't eat the chillies, so she goes with the flow and grows more of these and less of the other crops. I’m not great with heat, so I like my chilli jam a little less hot. This jam goes well with cooked cold meats. When you chop the chillies, wear blue gloves!
Serving suggestions and timings:
- Makes: 4 small or 2 medium jars
- Preparation time: 20 minutes
- Cooking time: 1 hour
What you will need:
A large, heavy-bottom saucepan or jam pan (preferably stainless steel), a food processor, four small jam jars or two medium jars, waxed circles.
- 10 red peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 8-12 red chillies (depending on the heat you wish) roughly chopped, including the seeds
- 30g fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 450g cherry tomatoes
- 600g caster sugar
- 200ml red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- Place the jars in a warm oven to sterilise them. Place the peppers, chilies, ginger and garlic into a food processor and process until chopped fine
- Scrape the pepper mixture into the saucepan, then add the sugar, vinegar, and salt
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring continuously. Once boiling, skim off any debris that forms on the jam and turn down the heat to simmer
- Continue to simmer, stirring every few minutes to ensure the jam doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. After about 40 minutes, when the mixture is thickened, turn the heat up again and stir continuously for 15-20 minutes to ensure a good set. It is important to keep stirring to ensure the jam doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan
- Allow the jam to cool slightly, then pour into the warm sterilised jars, cover with waxed circles and seal with lids. The jam will keep for six months in the fridge