How to make chilli jam

29 May 2019
I'm still dealing with the over-supply of chillies so a couple of days ago I pulled out the bush, stripped the chillies off and started thinking about how to use them.  I decided on a few jars of chilli jam and dried chilli flakes. It will give us the opportunity to enjoy this season's chillies for another few months and both are very easy to make.

Three jars of very tasty hot chilli jam with yesterday's bread.


I've blogged about my chilli jam before but I wanted to create a different recipe because I had red capsicums in the fridge and I wanted to use more of the chillies. The new recipe is below. 

INGREDIENTS 

20 cayenne chillies
4 red capsicums/bell peppers
4 medium red onions
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 cups white sugar
1 cup white vinegar (good white vinegar, not your cleaning vinegar)
juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons fish sauce if you have it OR ½ teaspoon salt if you don't

METHOD
Wash the chillies, remove the top stem and cut the chillies in half, lengthwise. The heat in the jam comes mainly from the type of chilli you use but it is the seeds and membranes that contain most of the heat. Remove all the seeds and membranes, then add back about one quarter - or more or less depending on how hot you want it.



When you've worked out your seeds and membranes ratio, roughly chop all the vegetables and add to a food processor.  Chop the vegetables in the processor for about 5 seconds - you want it all in small pieces but not mushy.  Add this to a saucepan.

Add the rest of the ingredients, and bring the mix to the boil.  When it reaches a boil, taste it. This is the ideal time to add more vinegar or sugar.  If it's too hot you may want to add another onion or capsicum. If it's not hot enough, you can still add more chopped chillies or a teaspoon of seeds.  Take some time with this and be sure you like the taste before you continue.

Let the jam cook on a rolling boil for 45 minutes. A rolling boil is when the jam boils and even when you put a spoon in to stir it, it continues a steady boil.

While the jam boils, prepare your jars - take the lids off three or four clean jars and put them in the oven set at 120C. Leave in the oven for about 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can boil the jars and lids for 10 minutes.  This is important: The jars must be hot when you add the hot jam to them so when they're ready, leave them in the oven or water until you use them.


When the jam is cooked and the right consistency, pour it into the sterilised jars. Put the lids on straight away and secure. Leave out on the kitchen bench overnight and when they're completely cool, store them in the fridge or the cupboard. There is enough vinegar and sugar in this jam to preserve it, you don't have to water bath it as well. The lids should be completely sealed but if you can easy remove a lid, use that jar first and store it in the fridge. 

The jam is absolutely delicious served on a cheese platter or with quiche, spinach pie, or various meats such as steak, sausages, chops and roast beef. You can also use it to make a great sauce for meat - add a tablespoon of jam to pan juices, add one cup of cream and stir. It's very good as a marinade or you can simply add it to spice up a cheese or cold meat sandwich. It's makes a wonderful gift, especially for men who seem to love anything with hot chilli.  I hope you try it.

22 comments

  1. Rhonda, in the US , we call this pepper jelly, and one of the common uses is to spread it over a vlok of cream cheese and eat it with crisps or crackers. Soooo Delish!! MAry

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    1. That sounds delicious, Mary. It would be great added to a cream cheese dip too.

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  2. How many jars does this make Rhonda. I have been wanting to try this for a while. We use sweet chilli sauce in our house on things...is this a replacement for that.

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    1. It made the three jars in the photo, Kathy. This is not liquid like sweet chilli sauce and it's hotter.

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  3. Hello Rhonda,
    You mentioned chilli flakes - could you please tell us how you prepare those?
    Thank you,
    Spud

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    1. Hi Spud. Wash and dry the chillies and only use those without rot or damage. Cut the top stem off and slice the chillies in half straight down. Place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper in the oven on about 100C or lower if your oven goes lower. Dry in the oven until they feel crisp, but not burnt - it will take a few hours. You'll have to watch them because some pieces will be smaller and will dry faster. Take them out if you see and feel that they're dry. When they're all dry, wait till they're completely cold and then blitz them in a food processor for a few seconds, until they're small flakes. Store in a air tight jar.

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    2. Thanks you very much for sharing your method, Rhonda. I'll be doing this for the next harvest.
      Spud.

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  4. That looks wonderful. I bet my dad would like it. The color is so vibrant. I love the way your place mat matches the red peppers.

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  5. That looks good! As another reader commented, this is great with cream cheese, a favorite here!

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  6. This looks and sounds delishious! My oldest son loves anything with chilli in it. Making a go at growing some this year. I have never heard of fish sauce. Will have to look into that. Blessings, Pam

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  7. Hello Rhonda,

    your chilli jam looks delicious. Could the fish sauce be left out to make it suitable for vegetarians? It sounds like the perfect way to use up a glut of chillies. Thank you for the recipe.

    Cheers, Maria from Adelaide SA.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, leave the fish sauce out. It adds a savoury note so you could add ½ teaspoon salt instead.

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  8. Love the recipe ideas at the end of your post Rhonda - especially making the sauce with a bit of cream etc. Yum!

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  9. Thanks for the recipe Rhonda, I'll definitely be giving that a go very soon and the chilli flakes. I always make sweet chilli sauce, bottle jalapeno's and have whole chillies in the freezer, that lovely jam will be a welcome addition :)

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  10. Thanks for the recipe! I'm looking forward to growing my own chillies (we moved to a warmer climate, so a whole new world of gardening is opening up for me) and will certainly make this. My husband will love it, I'm sure.
    Do you have any ideas for substituting or leaving out the sugar? (I can't eat sugar - I have hypoglycemia)

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    1. I have never left out the sugar, Maggie. Sugar and vinegar are used in the recipe to flavour and preserve the jam.

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  11. wonderful Rhonda! I've found it lasts for such a long time too(if I forget about it)...thanks for posting, great Autumn recipe xx

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  12. Two questions...do you recommend wearing food prep gloves to avoid getting the "hot" residue on your hands, or unnecessary? Second, in making the chili flakes...do you think using a food dehydrator to dry out the peppers would work as well as the oven? I am going to give this a go this year!

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    1. Hi Debbie
      Everyone is different, chillies are different too - for some I need gloves, others I don't. It's probably wise to wear gloves to be sure. A dehydrator would work as well as the oven. I have an over that operates from 30C to 270C and I know most people don't have that. A dehydrator or drying in the sun would work perfectly. However, it will take a few days if you're drying in the winter sun or you're in a colder area where the sun is never intense. If you're in that situation, bring the chillies in under cover overnight and cover with a tea towel.

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  13. Hi Rhonda Jean, As I read this I am listening to a program on the radio. The person speaking just quoted a saying that is said by Rabbis. "Words make worlds". I thought it a very appropriate saying to describe what you have done with this blog and your books. Thank you. Aloha

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  14. Hi Rhonda, not so sure what you mean by good white vinegar? Could you please help?

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    1. I mean vinegar you'd dress a salad with rather than your cleaning vinegar.

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