These sweet chillies are a variation on Sweet Chilli Sauce, – red chillies are simmered in a sugar solution until tender, and then stored in a glass jar. I will usually make small portions as it is an easy recipe, using a dozen or so ripe chillies from the garden. The preserve is then used over the next few days as an accompaniment to dishes. It is pretty delicious, especially with anything involving rice.
The syrup thickens like a jam or jelly, creating an interesting texture as well as flavour. The trick is to avoid over cooking otherwise you will have chilli toffee. The clearish jelly is strongly chilli flavoured, and the chilli pieces add texture and more heat. You will really enjoy this one. Today I used ripened chillies from the purple jalapeno chilli plant in the garden.
I love to serve this preserve on a cheese board (you have to be a chilli lover) and also mix it into creamy salad dressings.
Preserved Sweet Chillies
Slice medium and large red chillies in 2 cm pieces. Small chillies can be split lengthwise, or left whole. Rinse them well and drain.
Place the chillies in a saucepan and over with equal amounts of white wine vinegar and caster sugar. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the chillies are tender. Watch that you don’t simmer too long otherwise you will have chilli toffee. Removing the preserve from the heat early will give you a sweet chilli sauce style preserve, leaving it a little longer will allow the sugar to reach setting point and give you a jam consistency.
Remove from the heat and seal in sterilised glass jars.
recipe notes and alternatives
Different vinegars can be used. This batch was made with a mix of rice vinegar and coconut vinegar.