We first discovered this in 1997 (in Peter Gordon’s The Sugar Club Cookbook) and we’ve used the recipe ever since. In fact there’s a jar of it in the refrigerator at all times. It’s great on fried eggs, lamb or pork, in a Montgomery Cheddar sandwich, or brushed over bruschetta with some slices of just-melted goat’s cheese.
750g very ripe organic tomatoes
2 long red Thai chillies or fresh cayenne peppers
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 thumbs of fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
285g unrefined golden caster sugar
90ml red wine vinegar
● Have ready 1 x 500ml sterilised jar of your choice to store the jam. Dice half the tomatoes into small pieces, skin and all, and set aside. In a blender, purée the remaining tomatoes, the chillies, garlic and ginger until smooth. (We recommend you don’t strain the purée to remove the tomato seeds because they provide the pectin that will help the jam set, while the chilli seeds add some necessary heat.)
● Combine the tomato purée, sugar and vinegar in a tall-sided pot or saucepan, then bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring slowly and continuously. When it comes to the boil, reduce the heat to low and add the reserved tomatoes. Skim off any foam and cook gently for at least 1 hour, and up to 1½ hours, stirring every so often to release the solids that settle on the bottom of the pan. Be sure to scrape the sides of the pan during cooking so that the entire mass cooks evenly. The jam is cooked when it looks thick and is no longer runny – it should sit firmly on a cold plate.
● Transfer to the jar and cool to room temperature before refrigerating for later use. It will keep for up to 2 months.