Chilli Tomato Lime Marmalade- what did I do wrong

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by adamrobinsonno1, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. adamrobinsonno1

    adamrobinsonno1

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    Hi All

    I made a Chilli Marmalade last night which I adapted from a recipe that I've used before. My aim was to make a Thai Chilli Marmalade but there are two issues with it

    1) It didn't set

    2) There is a bitter, almost burned aftertaste.

    Recipe was as follows:

    880g baby plum tomatoes

    420g Jam sugar (with added pectin)

    6 Limes, finely sliced

    10 birds eye chilles (with seeds)

    5 cloves of garlic

    2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger

    1 stick lemongrass finely chopped

    5 drops sesame oil

    20ml Fish Sauce

    Brought all ingredients to the boil for 10 mins, reduced heat to a slow bubble and left for 45 mins until reduced by half. 

    Does anybody know what I might have done wrong?
     
  2. helloitslucas

    helloitslucas

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    Hmm, ginger and lemongrass usually become bitter if boiled that long. You've probably got all of the flavours out in the first 10-15 minutes. Maybe strain out the solids around 15 minutes and then just reduce the liquid?
     
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  3. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    I don't see the logic of cooking a jam for nearly an hour and using pectine sugar. I would have used plain sugar in your recipe, that would make more sense when you say you reduced the mass by half; in that case, you have ended in an almost 1/1 ratio tomato mass/sugar.

    I have no idea about the bitter taste, could be anything.

    I make a lot of jam using pectine sugar, adding the sugar to a boiling fruit mass and counting from then, boil vividly for maximum 4 minutes; I usually go for 3-3,5 minutes. The jam sets perfectly when cold.

    When making fruit jam with pectine sugar, I mostly use a ratio of 1/1 fruit/sugar or lower going to 10/8 fruit/sugar.

    My best suggestion; (important; start by weighing your empty cooking pot!!)

    - cook and reduce your concoction without sugar for maybe half an hour to develop the taste,

    - let it cool overnight to let all tastes merge,

    - weigh the cold mass (minus the weight of the cooking pot!!),

    - bring to a boil while stirring continuously until it boils, 

    - add the same amount of pectine sugar (1/1 ratio) (or go to 10/8 ratio), count maximum 4 minutes from the moment the boiling resumes.

    - fill your jars while very hot

    Note on the jars; Just before cooking the jam, I wash the jars, put them still wet in my oven at 110°C (not the lids!). When the jam is done, the jars are very hot, sterilized and dry. I fill the jars immediately with boiling hot jam. The jars are too hot to burst from the hot jam. Fill the jars, put the lids on without using force and turn the jars upside down for the next 45 minutes; they will vacuum themselves.
     
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    If you left the peel on the lime slices and didn't blanch them first, I am guessing that could be responsible for the bitter taste? 
     
  5. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu

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    The pith from the lime did it IMO. Try just using the zest and juice next time.
     
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  6. helloitslucas

    helloitslucas

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    This. I just assumed while glancing over the recipe that he used just the pulp/juice. :p
     
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  7. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I agree that too much pith will contribute to a bitter taste, but I also think a culprit could be 20ml of nam pla boiled and reduced by half. Seeds can also add a bitter taste and you had seeds in limes, tomatoes, chiles. The ones that would be the most problematic though would be the lime seeds.

    It probably had trouble setting due to a high level of acidity with both limes and tomatoes in the mix. A little bicarbonate of soda will lower the acidity and allow your marmalade to gel without leaving any after taste.
     
  8. adamrobinsonno1

    adamrobinsonno1

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    Thanks all. Very helpful, I think the next batch will be much better. I'll blanch the limes first, use normal sugar not jam sugar and put the ginger and lemongrass in muslin and remove after 10 mins. I might de-seed the chillies but use more of them to still get the heat.