Prep 35 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
You can make quite different jams with different types of chili. Experiment! For a pretty hot jam use 4 habaneros, or 4 Scotch Bonnet peppers. You can make a slightly milder jam by using 6-8 standard red chili peppers, or 6-8 jalapenos. When first cooked the jam tends to be fairly sweet and less spicy - the heat will build up slowly for a week or so after cooking. It’s fantastic served with cheeses (especially strong, hard cheese like good cheddar, and blue cheeses like Stilton), but also goes great with cold meats like ham. It works as a glaze for roasted/grilled meats. Try two slices of toast, melt Stilton over each one, and then spread a thin layer of the jam on top.
- First, blanch the tomatoes (bring a pan of water to the boil, remove from heat and place the tomatoes in the water for a minute or two). Then peel them. Chop them into halves or quarters.
- Peel the garlic cloves and place them, together with the tomatoes, the Nam Pla (or alternative) and chilis into a blender. Blend on a medium setting until the whole mixture resembles a strawberry milkshake. Yeah, really, it will. It’s a little off-putting, to be honest, but it won’t last for long….
- Pour the vinegar and the “strawberry milkshake” mix into a large-ish heavy-bottomed saucepan, and then pour in the sugar - just dump it in; there’s no need to do it in increments.
- Bring the whole thing to a boil over a high-ish heat, stirring constantly to completely dissolve the sugar.
- Once it comes to the boil, turn the heat to low and leave the jam to simmer. There’s no need to cover the pan (and doing so will likely increase cooking time.).
- From now on, stir every 10 minutes or so to keep the mixture from sticking to the sides of the pan.
- You need to leave the pan at a simmer until the mixture starts to gain a jam-like consistency. This can be a little difficult to gauge on your first outing, since the jam will be runnier at cooking temperature than at room temperature. It’ll start to look a bit “jammy” even at high heat, though, and stirring it will become more difficult.
- Reaching thei “jam stage” usually takes somewhere around an hour and a half, but it can vary up to half an hour either side, depending on the water content of the tomatoes. The eventual amount of jam, similarly, will vary somewhat.