Baked goods are the best gift to give out at Christmas, and jars of jams and chutneys are a great option. We wanted to make something that would go well on a cheese board and what goes better than apple?
Last year we made an all round winner, Chilli Jam which is extremely easy to make and will always be a favourite as well as Quince Jelly, which was slightly more challenging than the chilli jam. This year we decided to combine the two using apples from the garden to make a chilli and apple jam.
We started with about 1 kilo of cooking apples chopped – no need to remove any skin or seeds here, the seeds are where you will get the pectin for the jam to set (much like in the quince jam). We popped these in a large pan of water with a chunk of lemon zest for extra pectin (and flavour) along with a chilli (seeds & all) and boiled till mushy.
Next we had to get the juice from the apples to create the jam. To do this part you will need a sheet of muslin, however, we couldn’t find ours for some reason and shamelessly used a clean thin tea-towel from IKEA which worked perfectly and we would highly recommend if you don’t have any muslin lying around the house. We lined a large bowl with the tea-towel and tipped the apple chilly mush into the bowl, picked up the edges of the tea-towel and squeezed as much juice out of the apples that we possibly could! This left us with about a litre of ‘hot apple juice’.
We returned the juice back the large pan, which we had cleaned all the pulp out of along with a kilo of granulated sugar (equal amount of sugar to apple juice), the juice of a lemon and two chillies with the seeds removed and finely chopped. Bring to a rolling boil and jar!
- 900g cooking apples
- 1L water
- 3 chillies
- 1 lemon
- approx 1kg granulated sugar (equal sugar to juice)
- Chop the apples, don't remove the peel and core, as these contain the pectin which will set the jam. Place in a large saucepan with the a piece of lemon peel and 1 chilli, quartered
- Cover the apples with the water, cover and leave to boil for 40-50mins till the apples begin to mush
- Strain the pulp through some muslin to get your spicy apple juice, transfer to a jug and measure the volume of liquid.
- Return the juice to a large saucepan with the juice of a lemon and an equal amount of sugar to liquid, along with the remaining two chillies, seeds removed and finely chopped.
- Bring to the boil and skim any white residue that settles on the top. Continue on a rolling boil for 10-15 mins until jam setting point. This should be around 105C or till it coats the back of a spoon.
- Transfer to sterilised jars and seal.
This is a perfect contribution to a cheese board around Christmas which we will certainly be trying out!