Preserves

Chilli + Lemongrass Jam


 Prep Time : 10 + 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 + 30 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Preserves

Hello my lovelies! I love preserving season. I am going mad with all the jams and pickles I want to make. I have already made plum jam with some of my smuggled crop from back home. I’ve made feijoa and ginger with my freezer stash. I’m looking out for good apricots. Watch this space for that one. Right now we are making sweet and savoury crossover joy. Perfect for spreading on our crackers, dabbing on our dinners and gobbling with our cheeses. We are adding ginger and lemongrass to give this sweet, tangy, sticky, spicy chilli jam another layer of flavour. While this is called a jam it is technically a chutney. It’s on the soft spreadable side which we like. Don’t skip the roasting step. It really deepens the flavour of the tomatoes. Use good ripe flavourful tomatoes. I like to use the smaller ones as they roast and caramelise a little faster. Please don’t use low acid tomatoes as it can affect the acid levels and the keeping quality of this jam. Allons-y.

First of all wash your tomatoes and cut them in half Sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil onto a rimmed baking sheet or dish and put the tomatoes cut side down onto it. Toss the garlic cloves into the dish as well.

Roast the tomatoes at 200C (395F) for 20 to 30 minutes until they are collapsed and caramelised.

Put the tomatoes and any wayward juice into the bowl of a food processor. Squeeze the garlic out of it’s skins into the processor as well. Add the chillies (not the seeds) and ginger pieces.

Process to a smooth-ish paste. It will have bits in it. Bits are good.

Add the paste to a heavy bottomed saucepan along with the fish sauce, vinegar, salt and sugar.

Using something heavy like a rolling pin bash the lemongrass quite a bit. Add the bruised stalks to the pot and bring it to a simmer.

While the chutney is cooking, wash and rinse your jars and place them into a 120C (250F) oven. They need to be in there for at least 15 minutes but can just hang out until you’re ready.

Simmer the mixture, stirring from time to time for 30 to 40 minutes. It will reduce by about a third and go from being a liquid to glossy and thick. If you drag the spoon through it, it will leave a trail for a moment. I started with about 3 cups of liquid and it was ready at about 2 cups. Fish out the bits of lemongrass with some tongs.

Boil the jug. Get your warm jars out of the oven and place them on a folded tea towel so they don’t go straight onto a cold bench. Pour boiling water over the lids and let them sit while you fill the jars.

When the jars are filled drain the water from the lids and seal the jars.

Now if you can make yourself, wait for 3 to 4 weeks before cracking open these umami-bombs. I know that’s a big ask so wait as long as you can. I believe in you.

When you do open them up you’ll open up a world of possibilities. Jazzing up a burger, giving some kick to noodles, adding to sauces and soups, making shredded chicken sing in tacos, dipping dumplings, or just enjoying with a bit of cheese on a bit the baguettes you just made.

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Chilli + Lemongrass Jam


Prep Time : 10 + 10 mins | Cook Time : 20 + 30 mins | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Preserves | Makes : approx. 2 cups

Sticky spicy tangy sweet chilli jam with a hint of Asia – perfect for snacking and spreading everywhere.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams ripe plum or vine tomatoes (not low acid)
  • olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
  • 50 grams fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 6 red birds eye chillies or equivalent, de-seeded
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 100 mls sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup (200 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass (about 4 inches long)

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet
  • Food processor
  • Heavy based medium saucepan
  • 4 to 5  half cup preserving or jam jars

Directions:

First of all wash your tomatoes and cut them in half Sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil onto a rimmed baking sheet or dish and put the tomatoes cut side down onto it. Toss the garlic cloves into the dish as well.

Roast the tomatoes at 200C (395F) for 20 to 30 minutes until they are collapsed and caramelised.

Put the tomatoes and any wayward juice into the bowl of a food processor. Squeeze the garlic out of it’s skins into the processor as well. Add the chillies (not the seeds) and ginger pieces.

Process to a smooth-ish paste. It will have bits in it. Bits are good.

Add the paste to a heavy bottomed saucepan along with the fish sauce, vinegar, salt and sugar.

Using something heavy like a rolling pin bash the lemongrass quite a bit.

Add the bruised stalks to the pot and bring it to a simmer.

While the chutney is cooking, wash and rinse your jars and place them into a 120C (250F) oven. They need to be in there for at least 15 minutes but can just hang out until you’re ready.

Simmer the mixture, stirring from time to time for 30 to 40 minutes. It will reduce by about a third and go from being a liquid to glossy and thick. If you drag the spoon through it, it will leave a trail for a moment. I started with about 3 cups of liquid and it was ready at about 2 cups. Fish out the bits of lemongrass with some tongs.

Boil the jug. Get your warm jars out of the oven and place them on a folded tea towel so they don’t go straight onto a cold bench. Pour boiling water over the lids and let them sit while you fill the jars.

When the jars are filled drain the water from the lids and seal the jars.

Now if you can make yourself, wait for 3 to 4 weeks before cracking open these umami-bombs. I know that’s a big ask so wait as long as you can. I believe in you.

Cook’s Notes:

  • How many chillies go into this is dependent on your tolerance for heat. I found that 3 red jalapenos are a good amount for me because I couldn’t find bird’s eye chillies in the store.
  • Please leave this jam for at least a few weeks if you can help yourself as it really does improve in flavour.
  • If you find on opening that you have more of a sauce than a jam no problem – just eat it anyway!
  • If you use fleshier tomatoes – like the plum ones that have less juice in them – you will end up with more jam at the end because less water is cooked away.

 – If properly sealed in sterilised jars this jam should keep for several months in the pantry. After opening keep in the refrigerator for up to a month – 

Adapted from The Modern Preserver by Kylee Newton.

© 2017 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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