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Chilli Jam

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 



sorry if this has been covered before, but I couldn't find it. I'm planning on making food christmas presents this year, and one of the things I was planning to make is chilli jam. I tried one somebody made once, and I thought it was really good, quite sweet and spicy. The recipes I see online mostly involve peppers with some chillies, whereas I think the one I ate was made up solely of chillies, but mild ones, which I think would be much better. I've bought a batch of big chillies (which I think should be relatively mild), but unsure how to proceed! I would like to  do practice batches of everything to make sure they come out ok..


So.. any ideas on recipes? Would I have to buy pectin? (I've never made jam before, but do have a thermometer if needed).


Incidentally, if you have other original food-related gift ideas, that would be appreciated! For now I'm considering the garlic onion jam that was posted here, truffles/fudge/caramel, preserved lemons, spiced/fruit tea mixes.



post #2 of 9

The kind of peppers used determine flavor, lgc, but have no other effect on the jam. Thus, you can use any combination of sweet and hot chilies that piques your tastebuds.


For instance, in the following recipe, just substitute all of your mild chilies for the same quantity of bells, and you'll be good to go.


Peppers do not have any natural pectin to speak of, so you will have to add some.


Pepper Jam


6 large green or red bell peppers, cut in pieces

3/4 cup Jalepeno peppers, chopped, including seeds

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

6 cups sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 box SureJell


In a blender combine half the peppers and half the vinegar and blend until liquified. Pour into a large pot. Liquify second half and pour into pot. Add sugar and salt and bring to boil, skimming if necessary. Add SureJell. Lower heat and simmer until it thickens, 30-45 minutes.


Pour hot into sterilized jars. Remove air bubbles, adjust lids, and process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes.


Caution: Do not double this recipe, as it doesn't work. If you want additional jars make a second batch.


While not actually a jam, this recipe from Heinz, makes a nice condiment:


Hot Pepper Relish


1 1/2 lbs Jalapeno or similar chili

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cups shredded cabbage

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1 tbls snipped fresh cilantro

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1 tbls pickling slat

1 tsp celery seed


Wash, remove stems, and chop the chilies. In a large pot combine peppers and remaining ingredients. Mix well. Bring to boil over medium-hig heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 8-10 minutes, or until thickened, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.


Immediately fill hot pint or half-pint jars. Process in boiling water bath 15 minutes. Makes about 3 pints.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 



thanks for the reply! Yes, I'd like to go with just chillies because I think it would taste nicer.. I think I can get hold of fresh jalapenos too, so it could be a nice mix.. I'll give that first recipe a try..


I'm curious though, how come you can't just double the recipe? And do you liquidize in batches just because they don't fit in the blender cup otherwise? Finally, this might be a silly question, but do you sterilize the jars just by putting them in boiling water? And the post processing, I take it it just involves putting the jar back in boiling water with the lid on?


Thanks for your help! Looking forward to trying the recipe out..

post #4 of 9

Whoops! I didn't realize you weren't familiar with canning at all.


First off, I suggest you get a copy of the Ball Blue Book and read it. That will take you through the various preserving methods. Alternatively, if there's an extension office near you, there are several free pamphlets providing the how-to's of canning. The BBB wil provide lots of good recipes as well, some of which you might find interesting as gifts.


In brief, there are two methods. For low-acid fruits and veggies you need a pressure canner. Hold that thought in abeyance until you get some time in grade. The other method, used for high-acid products and sugar-cured preserves, is a boiling water bath. Essentially, you adjust the two-piece lids on your canning jars, submerge the jars in the water (which should cover them by at least an inch), and bring the water back up to a full boil. At that point you start your timer. At the end of the time period, remove them from the kettle, set in a draft-free space, and let them cool down. The lids should seal by being pulled downward slightly by the vacuum created in the jars.


It's important, when filling the jars, that you leave head space. For jams and jellies that should be at least a quarter inch. For relishes a half inch. That's the air that will be evacuated, thus creating the vacumn.


Although it's no longer considered necessary to actually sterilize jars, I do it anyway, because there are uses for the hot water. What I do is fill the jars with water, set them in the water-filled canning kettle, and bring the whole thing to a boil. The water in one or two of the jars is poured over the lids and rings (in their own bowl). The rest goes into a plugged sink. As I fill the jars and adjust the lids, they get stood in the sink. This helps keep them warm, so there's no thermal shock when you transfer them to the kettle.


There are lots of nuances to canning and preserving, and I really urge you to consult an instructional book to learn the ropes.


You'll also need proper equipment to do this safely and correctly. That means a canning kettle (the enameled-tin kettles are the cheapest way of going). These are fairly large, and hold either 7 or 8 canning jars, and are tall enough to cover them properly with water. All the other basic equipment is available in kit form, and includes: a jar lifter; a special wide-opening funnel, a magnetic lid lifter, and a plastic "knife" used to remove air bubbles from the jars.


As a rule, jars are stored without the rings. Although many people ignore it, the recomendation is that once a jar is opened you discard the metal lid. There are optional plastic screw caps to use instead. For gift-giving I always include one for each jar in the present. You'll find that some mayo jar lids will fit wide-mouthed jars, so be sure and save them.


If your friends and relations really love you, they'll return the empty jars (and maybe the plastic caps as well). But, in general, obtaining jars is a never ending quest among home canners. And you will have to buy new lids as well---they are not recyclable in a safe manner, although the rings are.


As to not doubling the first recipe. If you do, it won't thicken and gel. Why? Just the nature of the beast. But it's usually an academic issue anyway, because most recipes produce a full canner load of jars, so there's no point to doubling anyway.


One final thought. Are you at all close to Ohio? One of our members, JamLady, not only cans professionally, she conducts lessons. If at all possible, signing up with her classes might be your smartest move.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm afraid ohio is beyond the ocean for me, so not an option! I have to admit it's all more involved than I imagined.. I live in a tiny flat so I tend to avoid buying any more cooking equipment unless strictly necessary (or when I move out!). I'm a bit confused though, I've seen my parents make orange marmelade for example just reusing old jam jars.. They do get a vacuum (they're the ones with the clickly lid, so the click just comes down). Is that a nono then? I thought the combination of boiling water (sterilizing) and a vacuum would be sufficient, but I'd rather not poison the family.. They do have their uses!


Anyway, I will have a better read on general jam canning practice, possibly source the book you recommended and take it from there.. Cheers!

post #6 of 9

I've made Delia Smith's chili jam a few times:  think it's from her third book.  I'm not sure whether it's exactly what you are looking for, but I can certainly vouch that it comes out exactly as described in the recipe!

post #7 of 9

So, you're not in the United States? That puts a different slant on things.


What you describe is called open-kettle canning. It's been done for many years, but the USDA frowns upon it (part of their paternalistic, you're too stupid to do things correctly, attitude).


What your Mum probably did was pour the boiling marmalade into the jars, and immediately put the caps on. More than likely, she turned them upside down as well. Those that sealed went in the pantry. Those that didn't were either recanned, or put in the fridge. The seal failure rate can be pretty high.


With sugar preserves you can get away with this because the spoilage mechanism is mold---which you can see. I would hesitate to use it for other preseves, however, and would never consider it for low-acid foods.


By clicky lids, are you talking about the domed lids that, in effect, collapse under the pull of the vacumn? Those come in both one-piece and two-piece versions. Those are the ones we mostly use (in fact, primarily the two-piece, lid & ring configuration). But you've got some preserving jars and systems there that we never see.


At any rate, you might find the Ball Blue Book difficult to find on your side of the pond. But I'm sure there are instructional materials geared to the British home canner. Ishbell? Bughut? Any recomendations?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #8 of 9

I am a big fan of Pepper Jelly and have made quite a bit of it in the past.  While I have used all chilies (mild ones), have to admit I like the flavor better when I use bell peppers as the base and then add various chilies for more flavor and heat.  One of my recent favorite jams is Spicy Raspberry Jam.  I make a standard raspberry jam but add a puree of chilies to the mixture before cooking.  I've used jalapenos, serranos and even habaneros for this and they all come out great.  If you use habaneros be careful as they are really hot!

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies. KYHeirloomer, yes, in the UK at the moment.. Given what you've said I'll just go for the open kettle canning. I'm not overly interested in preserves in general (partly because I don't grow my own veg, so not a massive need to do it regularly), and from what you say for sugar preserves it shouldn't be a problem. I take it then that the garlic onion jam would be inappropriate for open kettle canning? I know garlic in particular is more of an issue for preserving... The clicky lids I mentioned were just taken from old store-bought jam jars, but they did the trick showing whether the vacuum did occur. I haven't tried the recipe you suggested yet as I didn't find the pectin in a couple of supermarkets I went to, will try again today!


Pete, I might try your ideas as well, with red peppers plus chillies. The habanero one sounds good (I have a friend with a lot of habaneros who didn't know what to do with them, only got as far as suggesting habanero vodka!) although it will be a bit tricky knowing how many to put in.. That's why I'm experimenting though!



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