I made Nigella's Chilli Jam and found that after more than an hour of dissolving the sugar on the lowest possible heat, the sugar that was remaining started to solidify and after adding the chilli and boiling it for the 10 mins the mixture was already very thick and hard to pour into the jars. Just wondering where I went wrong?
When making any jam or jelly, such as Nigella's Chilli Jam (from NIGELLA CHRISTMAS), it is important that the sugar in the recipe is completely dissolved before the mixture is boiled. If the sugar is not completely dissolved then the jam can crystallise while it is stored. Unfortunately sometimes the sugar on the bottom of the pan can clump together, become more solid and more difficult to dissolve.
If the sugar has solidified on the bottom of the pan then you will need to stir the mixture to break the sugar up and help it to dissolve. Do this gently with a wooden spoon and try not to push crystals of sugar up the sides of the pan. If you have lots of crystals on the sides of the pan then just brush over them with a wet pastry brush until they dissolve or slide back into the vinegar mixture. To check if the sugar has completely dissolved put a little of the mixture on a teaspoon. It should look completely clear and there should be no tiny crystals visible.