Sometimes I feel like wonder woman, during these times I batch cook, bake and make treats like jam, not ordinary jam, Scotch Bonnet or Chilli jam. I am very much on my wonder woman mode at Christmas as Christmas ain’t Christmas if the food ain’t lit AF. I’m not really religious, I believe in a bit of this and a bit of that. I do however believe in good food all the time!
Here is a recipe for my Festive Jam. It is a fantastic accompaniment to ANY savoury dish. But goes especially well with Christmas ham Caribbean style, you know pierced with cloves and all that. It’s also great with cheese… any cheese and crackers, Jacobs of course! It takes about an hour from start to finish, 40 mins if you use pectin. Enjoy!
*Disclaimer I did measure what I used but I lost the scrap of paper I wrote it on at Christmas and its now 03/02/17… so the measurements are not precise… It will still be lit though! Promise [insert emoji eyes].
4 Scotch Bonnet peppers (use fewer peppers if you don’t want it hot, hot)
150 grams of fresh ginger
5 large cloves of garlic
1 Medium onion or 4 shallots if you’re fancy
4 Cinnamon sticks
A heavy shake of nutmeg powder
250 ml apple cider vinegar (doesn’t have to be the fancy stuff with the ‘mother’ in it)
1/2 a sachet of pectin
350 grams of brown sugar
Chop the scotch bonnet peppers (remove seeds), garlic, onions and ginger. Chop as fine or as chunky as you like. I suggest that the scotch bonnet is finely chopped unless you are GANGSTA.
Pour the chopped ingredients and spices into stainless steel pot with a thick base. Jam gets extremely hot so you need a heavy pot or it will burn quickly and the pot will be ruined.
Add the vinegar and sugar… I used half demarera, a quarter caster and a quarter soft brown as that’s what I had!! Ideally it should be brown muscovado sugar. Add an apple, apples are a natural source of pectin… I was trying to keep it all natural but it was taking ages so I added half a sachet of pectin. Pectin is a gelling agent that is naturally present in a number of fruits, apples have high levels… but not the ones I had so the sachet had to do!
Stir well and bring to boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 45 mins. You need to stir frequently so it doesn’t get stuck to the pan.
When it starts to thicken take a little jam (less than half a teaspoon) and put on a cold plate. If it sets like jam it’s ready. Take off the heat and leave to cool a little. You need the jam to be just below hot for the vacuum on the bottle to work properly. This way it keeps for longer prior to opening.
Spoon the mixture into sterilised jars and refrigerate. This time I used a jam jar but I often use little pesto jars… these are better especially if you are going to give them as gifts (less is more babe). The internet says it will keep for three months… mine has never lasted three months so I can’t vouch for that! Anyway, voila! Enjoy.
(sorry I didn’t take a nicely presented picture, this is real life, not every day stage life for the gram!)
To sterilise the bottle I used sterilising liquid. Since having my daughter in 2007 I always have it in the house as it is such a good cleaning agent and works a treat on tie dying denim! If you don’t have any you can boil the bottles and lids… I don’t know this method so do your googles!
If you make some let me know in the comments.
Open your windows and put your extractor fan on as boiling vinegar and pepper is no joke!