This sweet, sticky jam is the perfect accompaniment to a freshly carved ham sandwich, but it goes with all sorts – from a nice bit of steak to a smoked mackerel salad. And the beauty of this recipe is that you’re in control of the heat. If you’re not good with fire you can keep it quite mild… but we like to be brave and give it some welly. One last thing: it might look like a lot in the pan at the start, but it reduces right down, so don’t panic if it looks like you’re making too much.
Tomato & Chilli Jam
Makes one 500ml jar
• 1kg (2lb 4oz) plum tomatoes (you don’t want them too firm)
• 2 fresh chillies of your choice (or 1 dried chilli or 1 teaspoon chilli flakes, if you wish)
• 80ml (2½fl oz) white cider vinegar (we use Willy’s Apple Cider Vinegar)
• 550g (1lb 4oz) golden caster sugar
• 1 bay leaf
Cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds.
Halve the chillies, discard the seeds and finely chop.
In a wide, heavy-based pan, heat the vinegar and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf and simmer on a low heat until thick.
This will take a good hour, so put some music on and grab a book – but do keep returning to stir the mixture so it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.
Allow to cool slightly, then pour into a sterilised jar and seal tightly. The jam will keep for up to a month in the refrigerator, but it’s so good, it’ll never last that long.
For more recipes, how-tos and tips why not pick up a copy of THE PIG Book: Tales and Recipes from the Kitchen Garden and Beyond.