I’ve had an absolute bumper crop of tomatoes this year. Sadly (and I’m not sure why) I’ve struggled to get many ripe ones!
As soon as I realised that I was going to have sooooooo many green toms, I started thinking about what the heck to do with them all – and that’s what this post is about. Of course, if you don’t want to read about my quest to use up those pesky green tomatoes then, you can just skip to the printable recipe for my Green tomato and chilli jam
But I’d love for you to read on……
What you see in the picture here to the left is just a fraction of the green tomatoes (and other veg) that we (that’s me and my hubby) picked this weekend. As I’ve said before, I hate waste and could not bear to think of not using every single tomato – green or not!
A couple of weeks ago, on advice from my dad, I tried the whole ‘put your green toms with a banana in a box thing’ (see image to the right).
However I had limited success because it actually took two whole weeks for the toms to turn red and by that time some had started to spoil – not good eh!
So, I set about designing a recipe that would be tasty, could be given away as a gift (now don’t shout – but Christmas is coming), and one that would use up every last green tomato along with some of my other bumper crops – chillies and garlic!
The images below show just some of my many chillies and quite a bit of the garlic too!
In the past I’ve made a basic chilli jam with red toms and all red chillies and I couldn’t see why a similar approach would not work, but using green toms and mostly green chillies. That said, I knew I wanted a more ‘jelly like’ jam and also for there to be lots of herbs for added flavour and depth.
In order to get a clearer ‘jelly like jam’ I decided that the majority of the mixture should be blended first. That way, when the product is finished there would be smaller chunks of green toms suspended in a lovely herby jelly jam.
Not having a recipe to follow, I had to do a bit of experimenting in order to get the perfect taste, look and set. The first batch I tried was not sweet enough and to be honest was a bit too spicy, also it did not set well and I think this is because the toms don’t have much natural pectin.
With the second batch I decided to switch to jam sugar, but I didn’t add enough chilli or herbs, so it wasn’t spicy or flavourful enough. I played around with the quantities and finally I won out with the third batch – well they do say third time lucky!
Don’t worry though, I didn’t waste any of the first two batches, I simply re-boiled them to make a perfect batch. I ended up making 25 jars of this jam at the weekend and we’ve eaten one full jar already!
You really need to try this recipe, it’s herby, has a good set and really works well with meat, fish, cheese – well anything really. You can also package up the finished jars of lovely jam to give as gifts – that’s if you can bear to part with them!
Here’s how to make this wonderful recipe for green tomato and chilli jam.
It really only takes about half an hour and you can use as many or as few chillies as you like. The hardest part is peeling the green toms, especially if they are big beefy ones. But you do really need to peel them as otherwise the finished jam will be bitter.
Also, make sure you use jam or preserving sugar – if you don’t you will have to add some kind of pectin product to ensure you get a good set.
What I love about this recipe is it’s versatility and the fact that there’s no waste – not even from the herbs as you just chuck them all in – stalks and all. It’s also a really easy recipe to double (or triple) up. I hope you enjoy making and eating jam, I certainly did.
Below is the printable recipe for my green tomato chilli jam
For other recipes on my site please follow this link.
Green tomato and chilli jam
A wonderful herby green tomato and chilli jam.
- 500g of green tomatoes.
- 500g of sugar (I used jam sugar to ensure a set).
- 4 chillies, 3 deseeded, one left with the seeds in. (I used green and red, mine were quite large, but you can use whatever chillies you like).
- About 20 – 30g (a good handful) of mixed herbs – I used coriander and mint, but I think thyme and mint, or thyme and coriander would also work well. Don’t pick the leaves from the stems – we use everything here!
- 2″ of fresh ginger (that’s about 10g). Peel the ginger, but no need to chop.
- 4 – 5 cloves of garlic peeled. (Use 4 if large, 5 if small).
- 120ml of cider vinegar (white wine vinegar would also be fine).
- 2tbsp of soy sauce.
- Place your tomatoes in a bowl and cover with boiling water – leave for 10 minutes and then peel the skins away. Chop half and place into a heavy pan with the sugar.
- Blend the other half of the toms with all of the other ingredients until you’ve got a smoothish herby mixture. Remember – you don’t even need to pick the leaves from the herbs, just chuck them in the blender stalks and all as that’s where the flavour is.
- Place the blended mixture into the pan with the chopped tomatoes and the jam or preserving sugar and heat gently stirring all the time. Increase the heat so that you get the mixture up to a low boil. Cook and continue to stir until the mixture reaches the optimum setting temperature of 105 degrees c. When it does, turn down and simmer for about 10 minutes more. (The whole cooking process should take no more than 20 minutes).
- When cooked the mixture will have darkened considerably and it will be really glossy. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes and pour into sterilised jars. Store in a cool dark place until required.
This jam will keep for up to a year if packed into properly sterilised jars. Once opened though, be sure to keep in the fridge and use within a month. Enjoy!