Tomato and chilli jam

Joan B-A writes:

Summer 2018 finds me with an early glut of tomatoes, so I’ve put some of them to good use by making tomato and chilli jam, a nice accompaniment for cheese, meat, and fish. Or just slap it on your sarnies. The tomatoes I’ve used are Red Alert from Kings, which I sowed towards the end of January. Kings describe them as ‘a very early outdoor cropper: one of the very best for flavour. Masses of small fruits are produced on bushy plants with no need for side-shooting’. 

I would agree with most of this, although I think the flavour of Red Alert is less than stunning (even more reason to convert them into something with more of a kick). They are also relatively thick skinned: perhaps they would fare better in a greenhouse instead of the minimal outdoor protection provided by my slightly ramshackle upright cold frame. However, I have been harvesting them since the end of June, around 1lb a day from 10 plants, and the flavour does seem to be improving with time.


  • 1kg tomatoes
  • 460g red peppers
  • 70g chillies
  • 300g redcurrants
  • 12g fresh ginger
  • 150ml red wine vinegar
  • 2tsp caraway seeds
  • 2sp paprika
  • 600g sugar

Notes on ingredients

I didn’t actually include the redcurrants, but it would make for an interesting variation. I used a very mild chilli but I still find the resulting jam relatively hot, so I might reduce the quantity another time. I have also seen recipes which include onion, garlic, cumin, coriander and fish sauce: I think I would be happy to experiment with any of these except the fish sauce!


  1. Cook all the roughly chopped ingredients (except the sugar) until soft
  2. Blend roughly then return to the heat and add the sugar
  3. Boil for quite a long time to reduce the sauce to a thick paste / jam (it won’t set like a jam, of course, as it doesn’t contain pectin)
  4. Pour into jars and seal

Notes on method

As you will see, the method in the recipe I found isn’t particularly detailed! I simmered the ingredients initially for around half an hour. It then took me about an hour of gentle boiling to get it to a reasonable consistency.

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