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The affectionately named Sweet Baby Jesus! Sauce is a recipe I stole from my brother. It is a peach habanero barbecue sauce. I’ve made it a few times now and it’s universally loved by the people I give it to. Those that can’t take spicy food of any sort will not tolerate this sauce and those that are looking for extreme spiciness will be sadly disappointed. I would characterize it as a medium-spicy sauce. Today’s batch made my eyes water. So, there’s that. It’s got a rich flavor and the heat hits you on the back end. The day that I made this and took the photos, I made a double batch. The recipe given here is for a single batch. The yield is about 4 pints.

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 8 fresh habanero chiles
  • 2 16-oz cans peaches (I use the ones in heavy syrup for more sugar content, but I doubt it really matters)
  • 3 cups tomato ketchup
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder (I use an ancho chile blend)
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ginger powder

Preparation is key here. WEAR GLOVES for this part. I use a dedicated cutting mat for use with preparing fresh chiles. A small spoon can be helpful in scraping the seeds out. Get everything ready: gloves, special cutting board or mat, spoon for scraping, trash bag, large cooking pot, food processor or blender. WEAR GLOVES! Be careful not to touch anything other than the habaneros, especially your eyes. When you’re ready to do this, remove seeds and stems from the habaneros, retaining the seeds from one chile only. Put the seeds from the one chile into a large cooking pot.

Chop the flesh of the stemmed and seeded habaneros and place them into a food processor or blender with the peaches and their juice. Puree. Pour the puree into the large cooking pot with the retained seeds. Stir in all the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when the mixture has the consistency that you like for barbecue sauce. Voila! You’re done. Keep reading if you want to preserve your sauce in jars.

This yields about 4 pints. I put mine into pint jars, 3/4-pint jars, and 1/2-pint jars.

With the amount of vinegar called for in the recipe, in addition to what’s already in the tomato ketchup and prepared yellow mustard, I doubt that it is necessary to water-bath can these. Simply turning them upside down until they’re sealed is probably enough to keep the food safe. HOWEVER, sometimes I can be paranoid, so I canned these in a water bath for 15 minutes.

In a large cooking pot (or canner), put a rack of some type (I use a telescoping steamer basket) to keep the jars from rocking in the boiling water and breaking (yes, this has happened to me, thus the rack). Fill the pot with water to a point that it won’t spill over once the jars are in it. Fill a tea kettle with water. Bring the cooking pot of water and the tea kettle to a boil. Cover and let simmer on low if you’re not ready yet.

Fill the jars, leaving about 1/2-inch of head space. Make sure your canner water is boiling. Wipe the jar rims. Screw lids onto jars and carefully place the jars into your canner. I have a jar lifter for this purpose. The jars should not touch each other. Pour the water from the teakettle into the canner so that there’s a couple inches of water over the tops of the jars. Let it simmer for fifteen minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the water. Let the jars cool. When pressing the lids with your thumb, there should be no “give.” If it still bounces up and down after canning and cooling, you should keep it refrigerated until it’s used.

So, the time has come. I just placed an order for an actual canner. It comes with a legit rack. This should make things much simpler for me and it’s become worth it since I do a lot of pickle canning in August. Stay tuned!