Saturday, January 12

Chipotle jam

Last year when I was on my cycling holiday in the north of England, I came across a stall hosted by the Chilli Jam Man at Malton Food Fair. I snapped up a jar of his Smoky smoked garlic and chipotle jam and would probably have bought a few more except I didn't have a lot of room in my panniers.

It turned out to be a fantastic purchase - really smoky with lots of intense flavours from the chipotles, smoked garlic and tomato,  not to mention other tantalising tastes which were alluded to on the list of ingredients.

Ever since then I've been meaning to try my own version, but chipotles are not so easy to get hold of. Except in south east London it seems - you can buy them at Borough Market from the Cool Chile Company, and online too. I see that the Chilli Jam Man sells them online too, but his are quite a bit pricier.

Having bought a packet of chipotles and a few bulbs of smoked garlic at the market, I made my first batch today. I notice from the chipotle packaging they recommend you remove the seeds before you use them, so I suspect these jars might be rather piquant...depending on your tolerance for chillies, you might want to do as suggested.

If you want to make some that's suitable for vegetarians/vegans, leave out the fish sauce.

These quantities make about three or four medium-sized jam jars.

1.3kg tomatoes
600g sugar
two chipotles
a bulb of smoked garlic
thumb-sized piece of ginger
balsamic vinegar
fish sauce
oil for roasting

Halve the tomatoes, cut out the woody stems and place them all in a large roasting tray. Put half the smoked garlic cloves in (unpeeled) then drizzle a bit of oil and a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar over them.

Roast in the oven at a low to medium heat (gas 4) for about 90 minutes, until the tomatoes are falling apart. You can turn them over after an hour if you wish.

Scrape the tomatoes and juices out in a large pan, squeeze the middle out of the roast garlic and add to the pan. Use a stick blender to roughly blend the mix (gets rid of the tomato skin).

Peel and crush the remaining smoked garlic cloves and add to the pan, along with the root ginger (peeled and grated) and the chipotles (lightly toasted then chopped small with seeds removed if you prefer - according to packet instructions).

Add a teaspoon of fish sauce, and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, then gently heat the pan till the mix is boiling. You can adjust these quantities to your own taste, but I suggest you wait till after adding the sugar to do so.

Add the sugar, stir well until it's dissolved.

Bring to a rolling boil and cook without stirring until it reaches setting point (or you get bored!). To check for setting point, put a saucer in the freezer till it's cold. Bring it out and drop a small amount of the jam onto the saucer - if it's ready you will see a skin forming. If not, continue to boil the jam.

I don't normally make my jam solid, just enough so that it doesn't run off the sausage sandwich :-)

Pour into sterilised jars (washed in hot water then put in a very low oven for five minutes - lids too) and put the lids on while the jam is still hot.

Chilli jams don't really need to mature like chutneys do, so you can eat immediately - just keep a nice glass of cool milk or lassi to hand!

I may have to rename this 'Bastard Hot Chipotle Jam'.


Anonymous said...

Have been meaning to comment and compliment you on a wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated blog! Love your variety of topics. Can't wait to try this jam. Stop by and check out our fledgling entry in to the blogosphere - although we're not really "out" yet.


Maybe you need to do a chili sourcing trip to the Big Apple in 2013?

Knit Nurse said...

Cool, I'll be checking out your blog! Trip to NYC is tentatively planned for August, will let you know!