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!
- Cook all the roughly chopped ingredients (except the sugar) until soft
- Blend roughly then return to the heat and add the sugar
- 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)
- 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.