Mirabelle Jam
From Cherrapeño

1 kg of mirabelles, weighed after stones removed
1 kg preserving sugar (has pectin already added)
1 small fresh red chilli - seeds removed
1-2 tablespoons brandy - optional

Wash and dry the fresh mirabelles. Cut them in half and remove the stones, place in a preserving or large saucepan.

Deseed the chilli and slice it finely, add to the mirabelles in the pan. You may want to wear rubber gloves when handling/slicing the chilli.

Pop a saucer into the freezer to chill.

Add the sugar to the pan and cook gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When all the sugar has dissolved and no crystals are left, bring the jam to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the jam, you don't want it to catch the bottom of the pan and burn. Remove from the heat.

Put a teaspoonful of jam onto the chilled saucer for 1 minute. Drag your finger lightly over the jam. If it wrinkles, it has reached setting point; if it doesn’t, put the saucer back into the freezer and boil again for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and try again. You may need to give it another 5 minutes or so.

Add the brandy if using and set aside to cool for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. To sterilise the jars and lids, wash them in hot soapy water, rinse and then dry them. Put them upturned onto a baking sheet (lids off) and put them in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir the jam before ladling into the jars. Seal and label.