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How to Make The BEST Homemade Sweet Chilli Jam

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(This post has been updated from the original September 2011 version to provide a better experience for you)

This insanely delicious sweet chilli jam is the Daddy of ALL jams. This bad boy will take a regular old sandwich to the next level, elevate your cheese board to excellence and become your favourite jam of ALL TIME. That’s a fact! I promise you, your life is not complete unless you have a jar of this in your home. Why not pair some sweet chilli jam with these gorgeous cheese biscuits for a truly epic party snack?!

sweet chilli jam in a kilner jar with crackers, lettuce and garlic cloves

Before I disappeared to York for the weekend, I realised I had polished off the last of my sweet chilli jam. CRISIS! I cannot and will not have a fridge that does not bear this jam! It was the first jam I ever attempted & still, by far, my absolute all-time favourite. You NEED this in your life, trust me.

sweet chilli jam on a spoon

Whenever me and the Mr have a cheese board (particularly at Christmas) huge portions of sweet chilli jam will miraculously disappear. (Just like these epic pickled onions!) It’s just marvellous! If you’re really looking to impress with your cheese board though, you should absolutely break out some of these spicy rosemary thins too. You’ll have people begging you for more!

sweet chilli jam in a kilner jar with crackers, lettuce and garlic cloves

Popular uses for sweet chilli jam

I realise saying, “sweet chilli jam goes with pretty much EVERYTHING” isn’t really very helpful. With that in mind, here are a few hints on how you can make the most of this incredible savoury jam.

  • Sweet chilli jam goes perfectly with cheese, so a cheese board is my obvious favourite!
  • Spread a layer on a sandwich to take it to the next level.
  • Dollop a spoonful onto a savoury cookie like these wonderful rosemary and thyme thumbprint cookies.
  • They taste great on crackers!
  • Water it down a little and use as a fantastic glaze for meats.
  • Smear a little on the base of your next homemade pizza before topping with the usual ingredients.

Can you think of any more ideas? I’d LOVE to hear them! Let me know in the comments section below.

sweet chilli jam in a kilner jar with crackers, lettuce and garlic cloves

Video tutorial

 

How to Make Homemade Sweet Chilli Jam – Step by Step Picture Recipe

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

Ingredients and equipment

Here is what you will need to fill 1 x 500ml (2 Cups) jam jar.

Ingredients

  • 4 Red Peppers
  • 5 Red Chillis
  • 5cm sized piece of Fresh Ginger
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 200g (7 oz) Tinned Tomatoes
  • 375g (1 Cup + 7/8) Golden Caster Sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 Cup) Red Wine Vinegar

Essential equipment

  • Food Processor
  • 500ml (2 Cups) Jam Jar
  • A Very Wide Saucepan/Pot

Instructions

Firstly you will need to prep your vegetables. De-seed and roughly chop the peppers (x 4), slice the green tops off the chillis (x 5), leave the seeds in – it won’t be hot I promise! slice the skin off the ginger (5cm piece) and roughly chop. Lastly – peel the garlic cloves (x 4). No need to be neat as the food processor will do most of the work for you.

Once you have your veg ready, chuck it all into the food processor along with the tinned tomatoes (200g | 7 oz).

sweet chilli jam ingredients in a food processor

Blitz until everything is chopped reasonably fine and pour into a wide heavy based saucepan/pot. The wider the pan the better, as it will reduce much quicker. The first time I ever made this, I made the mistake of using a small pan and I was cooking it for about 5 hours! Trust me, it’s not very fun that way haha!

Add in the golden caster sugar (375g | 1 Cup + 7/8) & the red wine vinegar (125ml | 1/2 Cup) then give it a good stir. Turn the heat up quite high and bring to the boil.

sweet chilli jam ingredients in a large pot on the hob

Once it starts to boil, you will notice an orange, frothy ‘scum’ floating to the top. You need to skim all this out. The easiest thing to do is to get a small bowl and a spoon and just scoop it out whenever it appears. This will only last for the first 5 minutes or so then no more should appear.

sweet chilli jam ingredients in a large pot on the hob with scum on the top

Now bring the temperature down to a simmer, allow to bubble away and reduce until it becomes thick & sticky and looks something like below. Make sure you stir it every now and again to keep it all mixed well. This could take about an hour or 2 but depends on the size of your pan and the heat you have it over.

reducing sweet chilli jam in a large pot on the hob

At this stage, you need to keep a close eye on your Sweet Chilli Jam and stir more often so it doesn’t catch & burn on the bottom of the pan. You will probably want to turn the heat down a little too. When the jam has reduced to the point where, if you run a spoon through it, it leaves a trail – it’s ready to be poured (still hot) into a sterilised jar.

reducing sweet chilli jam in a large pot on the hob

It is worth noting that the jam will pretty much stay the same consistency even when cooled (due to the lack of pectin in the ingredients) so if you would like it a little thicker, keep cooking until it reaches your desired texture.

How to Sterilise a Jam Jar

This is a very simple process. If using a clip on jar like me, make sure you remove the rubber seals. I have forgotten this once and it melted everywhere & smelt revolting! Oops.

Lay the jar open, place on a baking tray and pop into a preheated 190°C/Fan 180°C oven for 20 minutes. Et vous voila! Sterilised jar.

Then whilst they are still warm, place the seal back on, pour in your hot jam & seal. Be sure not to touch the inside of the jars though as this will contaminate them and you will have to start again.

sweet chilli jam in a kilner jar

And there you have it folks, my all time favourite preserve… Sweet Chilli Jam! Once you’ve opened it, store in the fridge. It should last for at least 6 months, not that it will last that long!

sweet chilli jam in a kilner jar with crackers, lettuce and garlic cloves

In my opinion, the best way to enjoy this sticky deliciousness is on some cheese on toast, or just with some cheese/cold meats and crackers. I refuse to have a cheese board without it! It would also make a wonderful Christmas gift.

sweet chilli jam in a kilner jar with crackers, lettuce and garlic cloves

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A close up of sweet chilli jam on a gold spoon set on a grey wooden backdrop with lettuce and chilli flakes in the background.
sweet chilli jam on a spoon

The Best Sweet Chilli Jam - Printable Recipe

Yield: 500 ml
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

The perfect cheeseboard accompaniment - this sweet chilli jam will take ANY sandwich to the next level!

Ingredients

  • 4 Red Peppers
  • 5 Red Chillis
  • 5cm sized piece of Fresh Ginger
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 200g (7 oz) Tinned Tomatoes
  • 375g (1 Cup + 7/8) Golden Caster Sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 Cup) Red Wine Vinegar

Essential Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • 500ml (2 Cups) Jam Jar
  • A Very Wide Saucepan/Pot

Instructions

  1. Add the red pepper, chillis, ginger, garlic cloves and tinned tomatoes to a food processor. Blitz until finely chopped.
  1. Tip mixture into a very wide saucepan or pot along with the caster sugar and red wine vinegar. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil.
  2. Skim off the orange scum when it floats to the top. (This will subside the longer the jam cooks.) 
  3. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook until the jam has reduced and is very thick. This should be within 1 hour. When you run a spoon through it, it should leave a trail. 
  4. Pour the jam into a freshly sterilised jam jar, seal and allow to cool completely. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 6 months.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 345mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment on the blog or tag me on Instagram.

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Rebecca Rodriguez

Monday 23rd of August 2021

Hello! If using the proper canning method in a water bath can this jam be shelf stable? If so for how long?

Rebecca Rodriguez

Wednesday 25th of August 2021

@Emma, Thank you so much for the feedback! Do you ever leave the jam out at room temp for months at a time or does it always go straight in the fridge?

Emma

Tuesday 24th of August 2021

Hi Rebecca. I'll be honest, I only know how to can the way I've stated in this recipe. So long as everything is hot when you seal the jar (the jam and jar itself) it will seal properly and keep for a very long time. I've actually had a large jar of this last opened in my fridge for up to a year and it is still absolutely fine. Hope this helps! Emma x

Aurora

Sunday 15th of August 2021

Hi Emma, I am looking forward to trying this recipe. However, the chillies I have grown are small and probably smaller than the ones you use. Could you give me the weight in grams for the chillies please? Thanks for sharing the recipe I can't wait to try it Xx

Emma

Monday 16th of August 2021

Hi Aurora. I wouldn't say size/weight is what's important with the chillis if I'm honest. Every time I make this my chillis are different sizes! It's more about what level of heat you want. Hope this helps, Emma x

kevin woods

Friday 4th of June 2021

i posted this question at 1256 on 3 june but for some reason it still shows as pending so not sure it has been registered? so sending again...........

Hi – is this recipe scaleable. I have many more chillis than the 5-6 so want to make as many jars as possible. I would have thought that doubling the quantities would be ok but not tripling or beyond? Grateful for thoughts

Emma

Friday 4th of June 2021

Hi Kevin. I did reply - did you not see it? Emma x

kevin woods

Thursday 3rd of June 2021

Hi - is this recipe scaleable. I have many more chillis than the 5-6 so want to make as many jars as possible. I would have thought that doubling the quantities would be ok but not tripling or beyond? Grateful for thoughts

Emma

Thursday 3rd of June 2021

Hi Kevin. I’ve made 2 batches at the same time and it’s been fine. Just bare in mind the size of your pan and the time it could take to cook as a consequence. (The smaller/taller the pot the longer it will take, the larger/wider the pot the faster it will cook.) You could also freeze your extra chillis for next time as an alternative. Emma x

David Manning

Friday 14th of May 2021

Great recipe, really liked the Jam but my wife likes a bit more bite to it so I added one Scotch Bonnet to the mix. Wow, really lifts it. As you say great with most Cheeses. Thankyou.

Emma

Friday 14th of May 2021

Hi David. That's great!! I'm so happy you and your wife loved it and knew exactly what to do to tweak it to your tastes :) Emma x

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