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More Nigella recipes

Chilli Jam

by . Featured in NIGELLA CHRISTMAS
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Introduction

Although I call this chilli jam, I don't mean by this that it's the sort of thing you'd spread on your toast at breakfast (though smeared inside a bacon sandwich, it could be a real help one hungover morning) but rather a chilli jelly — chelly? — that glows a fiery, flecked red and is fabulous with cold meats or a cheese plate. And just a small pot of it makes a gorgeous present.

"Jam sugar" is a sugar that has pectin added to it and is very good for setting jams and jellies which are low in natural fruit pectin. It is easily bought in most UK supermarkets but sadly is difficult to find elsewhere. If you can’t get jam sugar then you can use granulated sugar and add a 1.75 ounce box of regular powdered fruit pectin to the sugar and vinegar at the beginning of step 2 (or use the amount of powdered pectin recommended on the packaging). Powdered fruit pectin can be bought from canning suppliers.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Although I call this chilli jam, I don't mean by this that it's the sort of thing you'd spread on your toast at breakfast (though smeared inside a bacon sandwich, it could be a real help one hungover morning) but rather a chilli jelly — chelly? — that glows a fiery, flecked red and is fabulous with cold meats or a cheese plate. And just a small pot of it makes a gorgeous present.

"Jam sugar" is a sugar that has pectin added to it and is very good for setting jams and jellies which are low in natural fruit pectin. It is easily bought in most UK supermarkets but sadly is difficult to find elsewhere. If you can’t get jam sugar then you can use granulated sugar and add a 1.75 ounce box of regular powdered fruit pectin to the sugar and vinegar at the beginning of step 2 (or use the amount of powdered pectin recommended on the packaging). Powdered fruit pectin can be bought from canning suppliers.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Chilli Jam
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: approx. 1.5 litres / 1.5 quart

Metric Cups
  • 150 grams long fresh red chilli peppers (deseeded and cut into 4 pieces)
  • 150 grams red peppers (cored, deseeded and cut into rough chunks)
  • 1 kilogram jam sugar
  • 600 millilitres cider vinegar
  • 5 ounces long fresh red chile peppers (deseeded and cut into 4 pieces)
  • 5 ounces red bell peppers (cored, deseeded and cut into rough chunks)
  • 5 cups jam sugar
  • 2½ cups apple cider vinegar

Method

You will need 6 x 250ml / 1 cup sealable jars, with vinegar-proof lids, such as Kilner jars or re-usable pickle jars.

  1. Sterilize your jars and leave to cool.
  2. Put the cut-up chillies into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the chunks of red pepper and pulse again until you have a vibrantly red-flecked processor bowl.
  3. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a wide, medium-sized pan over a low heat without stirring.
  4. Scrape the chilli-pepper mixture out of the bowl and add to the pan. Bring the pan to the boil, then leave it at a rollicking boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and allow it cool. The liquid will become more syrupy, then from syrup to viscous and from viscous to jelly-like as it cools.
  6. After about 40 minutes, or once the red flecks are more or less evenly dispersed in the jelly (as the liquid firms up, the hints of chilli and pepper start being suspended in it rather than floating on it), ladle into your jars. If you want to stir gently at this stage, it will do no harm. Then seal tightly.

You will need 6 x 250ml / 1 cup sealable jars, with vinegar-proof lids, such as Kilner jars or re-usable pickle jars.

  1. Sterilize your jars and leave to cool.
  2. Put the cut-up chillies into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the chunks of red bell pepper and pulse again until you have a vibrantly red-flecked processor bowl.
  3. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a wide, medium-sized pan over a low heat without stirring.
  4. Scrape the chilli-pepper mixture out of the bowl and add to the pan. Bring the pan to the boil, then leave it at a rollicking boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and allow it cool. The liquid will become more syrupy, then from syrup to viscous and from viscous to jelly-like as it cools.
  6. After about 40 minutes, or once the red flecks are more or less evenly dispersed in the jelly (as the liquid firms up, the hints of chilli and pepper start being suspended in it rather than floating on it), ladle into your jars. If you want to stir gently at this stage, it will do no harm. Then seal tightly.

Additional Information

You could also use liquid pectin instead, but you need to follow the specific instructions on the packaging as differing brands vary.

MAKE AHEAD:
Make the jam up to 1 month before using or giving. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 1 month.

You could also use liquid pectin instead, but you need to follow the specific instructions on the packaging as differing brands vary.

MAKE AHEAD:
Make the jam up to 1 month before using or giving. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 1 month.

Tell us what you think

What 75 Others have said

  • I love this recipe and make it every Christmas. However, I recommend using a large pan as once it's boiling you need the height of a large pan to keep it boiling at a high temp for 10 mins

    Posted by gforce1 on 20th November 2022
  • I make at least one batch of this chilli jam every year both for myself and the in-laws. I tweak it a little from year to year, sometimes adding grated ginger. I use jam sugar and add an extra sachet of pectin as we prefer a stronger set. This year I am making single variety jam (Kenzo Chillies) as well as my usual mixed chilli batch.

    Posted by RonJay on 14th November 2022
  • This works with all forms of chillies i have used everything from regular red salad chillies right up to carolina reapers even to the point of just just using 300 grams of chillies and no sweet red peppers, but a handy hint to avoid filling your house with fumes when you clean your pan fill it to the top with hot water and let it soak till all residue is disolved

    Posted by josephdarklight on 1st November 2022
  • As always an easy-to-follow recipe...I followed almost-smile. exactly and love it...Next time I will be tweaking the chillies...Thank you, Nigella a great success :)

    Posted by CarolCooks2 on 7th September 2022
  • If using a liquidiser to whizz the peppers and chillis together it might clog up. I added about a tablespoon of the vingar/sugar mixture and soon the liquidiser had turned the mixture into tiny chips.

    Posted by cyberfish on 12th August 2022
  • After making Chilli Jam if you wash up by hand wear rubber gloves as the chilli infused washing up water can sting you hands and any little cuts that you have.

    Posted by cyberfish on 12th August 2022
  • This is the best chilli jam recipe, make it on a regular basis. Couldn’t be without it in my cupboard Made it for a local horticultural show pre covid and had prize.

    Posted by Burryholme on 15th June 2022
  • Made this for the second time, I loved it so much, as did everyone who was fortunate to taste it. Excellent balance of flavour. I too have a passion for food and always enjoy the enthusiasm you exude in your videos and written recipes. Thank you Nigella!

    Posted by AndiNic09 on 12th June 2022
  • Made this this week and it turned out wonderful!! Love nigella you truly are amazing.

    Posted by Beelou2008 on 22nd December 2021
  • Didn't have enough to do a full batch so halved it and used lemon juice instead of pectin sugar and it turned out fabulous

    Posted by redbrit on 2nd November 2021
  • We make gallons of this stuff every year - we love it!! We make different varieties now. Chop up a big pile of mint and this is incredible with you Sunday roast lamb, or mix in a bunch of fresh corriander - this goes with everything! Especially grilled halloumi or an amazing grilled steak. We do a plain jar, a mint jar and a corriander jar each time we make a batch.

    Posted by K8ibelle on 27th September 2021
  • This is absolutely delicious! I made a batch with some of the extra peppers from our garden, and am preparing to make a few more batches for holiday gifts! I used a combination of ripe Hungarian Hot Wax, red bell peppers, red, ripe Jalapeños and a few Thai chiles. It's the perfect combination of hot and sweet, and is lovely served at the center of a cheese and cracker plate. Thank you for the recipe. I water bath canned mine, processed for 10 minutes. I also used powdered pectin since here in the states jam sugar is almost impossible to find. One box of powdered pectin added to the sugar and vinegar before heading worked beautifully!!

    Posted by my94fb on 10th September 2021
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