Chilli Jam

Hot and spicy but like no other chilli sauce, this delightful condiment is curiously both sweet and savoury. Amazing with meat, cheese, whatever; I’ll admit to eating it on toast for a punchy breakfast and even straight from the spoon..

I literally love the stuff.

A glut of red chillies brings a naughty smile to my face as I know what’s coming next. Here’s my quick and easy recipe for a kicking chilli jam.

Ingredients:

  • 8 red chillies
  • 4 Romano red peppers (deseeded)
  • thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger (peeled)
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 750g caster sugar
  • 200ml red wine vinegar
  • 400g passata or finely chopped tomatoes (you could just blend a tin of tomatoes)

Method:

  1. Roughly chop the chillies, peppers, ginger and garlic and then blitz in a food processor.
  2. Pop all of the ingredients into a heavy pan (or jam pan if you have one), stir and bring it up to the boil.
  3. Skim any scum that rises to the surface and then simmer for about an hour and a half, stirring frequently to stop it catching on the bottom of the pan. making chilli jam
  4. Once you’re happy with the consistency, pour into sterilised* jars.

Refrigerate after opening.

chilli jam

As always, recipes are only guides – if you like it hotter, pump up the chilli, garlic and ginger. I like to use a mix of chillies to create a depth of flavour and include a birdseye chilli for a nice kick.

 

* to sterilise jars, give them a good wash in hot soapy water and then pop them into a hot oven for 10 minutes (lids too). Alternatively, just run them through a dishwasher cycle.

red chilli

Apple Crisps

Apples going spare? We seem to always have a glut in our house, so I did a little thinking and made a batch of apple crisps as a snack for the children. These children are now addicted to them. Good job that they’re super-easy to make, healthy as, well, apples, and cheaper than a bag of deep fried salty potatoes.

It’s nearly Christmas, so a dusting of aromatic cinnamon seemed only appropriate.

apple slices

Ingredients:

  • Apples
  • Cinnamon

Method:

  1. Core your apples (although this isn’t essential if you can be bothered picking out the pips).
  2. Slice them thinly using a mandolin or a food processor. I cut them to 2mm thick to get a crisp result. Any thicker and they become chewy.
  3. Lay the slices out on a baking sheet making sure they don’t overlap.
  4. Dust them with cinnamon powder.
  5. Bake at 110°C fan (120°C conventional oven) for 25 minutes.
  6. Flip them over and bake for a further 20 minutes or until they’re perfectly crisp.

The crisps will store for a few days in an airtight container if you can resist them…

baked apple crisps