Tangy jam is a quick way to deal with a bargain bagful of tomatoes from a market or shop, or a glut of home-grown produce.
Regard this as a mother recipe, very easy to adapt by bringing in other flavours. You can spice it up by adding a couple of teaspoons of ground coriander or crushed fennel seeds along with the sugar; or stir in a spoonful of Thai fish sauce or anchovy essence towards the end of cooking; or add a couple of tablespoons of chopped basil or coriander leaves at the end of cooking.
Mix the jam into cream cheese as a dip for crunchy batons of cucumber and carrot; spread a little over pizza bases or use it to make sausage rolls; serve it with fishcakes or crispy-skinned chicken; or spread it into sandwiches.
Makes 4 × 200ml jars
1kg tomatoes (as ripe as possible)
4-6 red chillies, halved lengthways and deseeded
4 fat garlic cloves, peeled
3cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
200ml cider vinegar or wine vinegar
50ml balsamic vinegar
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lime or lemon
400g golden granulated sugar
1tsp fine sea salt
Blitz a quarter of the tomatoes to a smooth purée in a food processor with the chillies, garlic and ginger. Place in a large heavy-based pan or preserving pan. Pulse the rest of the tomatoes several times in the food processor to roughly chop them up and add to the pan with the vinegars and the lime or lemon zest and juice.
Place the pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle in the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved. Then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for about 30-40 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the mixture has reduced by roughly half to a richly coloured, glistening jam. Remove from the heat and season with the salt. Meanwhile, sterilise your jars and twist-on lids.
Spoon the chutney into the warm jars, filling to the brim, and seal immediately.
Store in a cool, dark, dry place for up to a year. Keep in the fridge and use within 3-4 months once opened.
Spin-off: spicy sausage rolls
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Roll out 250g puff pastry to a 30cm × 25cm rectangle and halve it lengthways. Spoon a generous tablespoon of tomato and chilli jam along the centre of each piece, spreading to within 1.5cm of the edge. Divide 500g sausage meat in two, and roll each piece into a long sausage shape that fits the length of the pastry. Position on the tomatoey pastry halves.
Brush the pastry edges with a mixture of beaten egg and milk. Fold one side of the pastry over the sausage meat, pressing down to seal. Cut each roll into six smaller ones and place on a lined baking sheet. Slash the tops with a knife, then brush with more of the egg-milk mixture.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and golden and the meat is cooked through. Serve the sausage rolls with a little more of the tomato and chilli jam.
Photography © Mark Diacono