I had the notion that I would like the flavours in this jam, but I wasn't willing to commit to a full-sized quantity - so this makes a tiny little batch. The flavours do work very well, so next time I would do it with 1kg of fruit. I'd say that the chilli warmth is subtle, Paul says it is non-existent. There is a little lime for brightness and vanilla beans for more fragrance and a slight crunch. Nothing to overwhelm the beautiful ripe peach flavour.
Peach, vanilla and chilli jam (makes 2 small jars)
400g peaches (I used lovely ripe yellow peaches)
Juice and grated zest of a lime
350g jam sugar
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
1 small red chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced
Blanch the peaches briefly, then peel and slice. If your peaches turn out to be clingstone, just sort of mulch them in your hands to get the flesh off the stones.
Put the peaches, lime zest and juice in a heavy-based saucepan and cook over a gentle heat for 10-15 minutes, until it softens and the juices run. Add the sugar, vanilla and chilli, and stir while the sugar dissolves, then turn up the heat. Cook at a galloping boil until it reaches setting point - which is about 105C, but I like to double check with the old saucer-in-the-freezer method.
Allow to settle for 10 minutes then pot into sterilised jars.
I did use one jar in a luscious Peach Melba inspired trifle. Paul's family always has trifle at Christmas, but I see it as a year-round treat, ringing the changes with seasonal fruits.
I put a layer of savoiardi biscuits in the bottom of my trifle dish, and gave them a sprinkling of Chambord, then spread the peach jam over them. Next was a good layer of beautiful British raspberries - have to take advantage of them while they are around - which I arranged fairly carefully around the edges so it'd look pretty. Then a layer of custard. I will never make as good a custard as Waitrose, sadly.
For the garnish, I roasted some hazelnuts, then made a light caramel and poured a little pool over each nut. As soon as it was cool enough to handle, I rolled the caramel around each one, to give a thick toffee coating.
So on our way over to dinner, we stopped in at the supermarket and bought a can of squirty cream. Not ideal but there you go. At least it wasn't "lite" squirty cream.
It was a wonderful dessert. The perfect combination of flavours and textures, not too sweet and not too filling at the end of a large meal.