There’s nothing better than farmers market Saturdays. But for me, this time of year – late summer, early autumn here in Australia – is my absolute favourite. You can find everything from stone fruit to berries, to the first apples and pears of the season, to eggplants, herbs and tomatoes of all shapes and colours. I love wandering around with my basket, picking up anything that looks exciting, nibbling on a sample of something tasty and taking an Instagram of the pretty flowers.
I find it all super inspiring and always come home with a bag full of beautiful produce and lots of great ideas of what to make. This time of year is also perfect to preserve the best of summer’s bounty. Last weekend it was the tomatoes that really spoke to me. I decided to try something I’ve never made before – a tangy, sweet and spicy homemade tomato and chilli jam.
A lot of people that I’ve talked to are resistant to the idea of making jam from scratch for many reasons. I know that it did take me a while to face my fear of sterilising jars, but after almost seven years of homemade jam, I’ve never looked back.
You don’t need a surplus of homegrown fruit.
You don’t need to spend an entire weekend making jam for the whole neighbourhood.
You don’t need to add a ton of sugar.
You can sterilise jars quickly, safely and easily.
You don’t have to buy poor quality overly sweet store bought jam.
You don’t have to buy expensive artisan jam. Well you can, but it’s more fun to make it yourself!
Until now, I have only made jam with traditional jam-making fruits like berries, rhubarb and figs. Even though I’ve been purchasing store-bought tomato relish for years, I had never made a savoury jam with tomatoes, ginger, vinegar and garlic. But the process is very similar – fruit (tomato is a fruit!), flavourings, sugar and acid simmer together to thicken up and produce a delicious result. This recipe makes about 3 jars of jam (which I think will last us about 3 months) but feel free to halve it or scale it down if you want to make a smaller batch.
Well, this tomato and chilli jam is super delicious! At first I thought it was a little bit sweet on its own but once I tried it with other foods I thought it was perfectly balanced. I think a savoury jam like this is so versatile! It would be perfect on almost any kind of burger, with bacon and eggs or on a steak sandwich or the best ham and cheese toastie of your life. I love that it’s a little bit spicy, a little bit tangy and a little bit sweet.
Next time I make this (because there will definitely be a next time) I want to experiment with roasting the tomatoes first to see if that gives the jam a more intense and concentrated tomato flavour. Feel free to experiment with making it more or less spicy to suit your own personal taste. I absolutely love that you can preserve the best of summer’s produce in just over an hour to give you endless opportunities for deliciousness.
Related Post: Homemade Jam with Free Printable Labels
Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam
Makes about 3 cups
Adapted from Women’s Weekly ‘Made From Scratch’
- 1kg ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 large lemon (or 2 small ones)
- 5 fresh long red chillies, sliced thinly
- 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
This recipe is best using the ripest tomatoes you can find. Place all of the ingredients in a large saucepan over high heat, stir without boiling until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 90 minutes or until jam is thick. Cool for 15 minutes. You can blend this jam for a smooth consistency, but I left it as is with a great relish texture.
To sterilise the jars, wash the jars and lids with hot soapy water, rinsing thoroughly. Place into a 120°C (250°F) oven for 30 minutes or until they are hot and dry. Remove from the oven carefully and pour the hot jam into the jars and seal immediately. If you make jam regularly, it’s always a good idea to label and date your jars so you can keep track of when to use them. Store in a cool, dark place and refrigerate when opened. Jam will keep for about 3 months.