I HAVE had a few attempts at jam throughout the years, with mixed results.
The hardest thing with jam is knowing how much pectin (which makes it set) to add, because different fruits have varying levels of it occurring naturally.
So discovering sugar jam - sugar that already contains pectin - was a happy day for me and made for the easiest jam I have ever made.
I usually have chilli jam made with tomatoes, but as there was an oversupply of capsicums in my vegetable crisper I decided to use them instead.
I also had an oversupply of some weird and wonderful chillies given to me by my uncle.
There were yellow ones, green ones, red ones and orange ones in a variety of shapes.
Nothing makes me happier than a big bag of chillies.
Chilli heat for me is like a challenge or temptation. I can't help myself, I just keep adding and adding until I am actually scared to try it.
So while the version of chilli I made most recently was on the extreme side, this version is slightly milder.
It all comes down to who you will be sharing it with (or giving it to, because it makes a great gift) and the level of heat you want.
Even though I made one slightly on the hot side, it went down a treat with my work mates, who ate half a jar in one sitting, using it as a dip to go with cheese.
To sterilise the jars, wash them in soapy water, boil for a few minutes in a saucepan of water, and put in a 220-degree oven until ready to use.
To seal, place lid on by screwing so it is sealed but not as tight as it can go.
Place the jars in a pot of boiling water so they are completely covered and boil for a few minutes. Stand aside and allow to cool.
Store in fridge after opening.
Makes two large jars or four small jars
2 large red capsicums
500g jam sugar
6 red chillies
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Place a saucer in the freezer. De-seed capsicums, making sure to get rid of all of the white membrane. Chop roughly. Chop chillies roughly.
Combine chillies and capsicums in a food processor until broken down and there are no chunks.
Place the mix into a large saucepan, add cider and bring to the boil, cooking for five minutes. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the sugar.
Continue to stir until sugar appears to be dissolved (this could take a few minutes) and then increase to a high heat until you have a rolling boil. Keep stirring, cooking for about five minutes.
Test if the jam will set by placing half a teaspoon on the cold saucer. Leave for a few seconds, push lightly with your finger. If it crinkles, it is ready, if not continue to cook for another minute and test again.
Pour into sterilised jars, seal in water bath and cool. Consume within three months.