I am a big lover of chillies and up until I was pregnant with Jack I ate quite a lot of them, in fact I possibly ate pickled chillies or chilli flakes on every meal. I think you begin to lose your tastebuds as they never really seemed very spicy. Due to pregnancy heartburn I cracked the habit and now only have them occasionally. I sometimes make a jar of pickled jalapenos but these days they last a lot longer than they used to.
I'm also a bit partial to spicy chutney and my favourite chilli jam has made a reappearance this year, this time sweetened up with some plums. You can find my recipe for chill plum jam here and my Asian chilli jam here. A few years ago (and possibly a few more) I spent a few months living and working in Cornwall, and whilst I was there I acquired a jar of chill jelly. I can't remember where it came from but I think a housemate picked it up during a visit back home to Dorset. The jelly was set and had little birdseye chillies dispersed throughout the jar. I used it in quite a lot of my cooking as well as on toast and crackers. I wanted to recreate the jelly but the only recipes I could find on the Internet had apples in too so I decided to have a bash without a recipe for guidance and see how it turned out.
It has the right look about it, and definitely tastes just like the chilli jelly that I remember from all those years ago, however it has more of the consistency of golden syrup than jelly.
I won't give up and next time I will add a little more pectin (or add pectin that is in date, oops) to see if that will help. If there are any jelly making experts out there please feel free to give me some advice.
Birdseye Chilli Jelly - makes 1 jar
200ml vinegar (I used Sarsons distilled pickling vinegar)
200g Granulated sugar
Dried birdseye chillies (I added approx 50)
1/2 tsp Pectin powder
- Add the vinegar, sugar & chillies to a pan
- Bring slowly to a boil and simmer gently for approx 15 minutes to release the flavours of the chillies
- Stir in the pectin until dissolved
- Turn up the heat and bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 4 minutes
- Remove from heat & pour straight into a sterilised jar and crew the lid on
- After it has cooled a little, give it a gentle shake to disperse the chillies