We were on a mission to find the juiciest, tastiest peaches the farmers had to offer. And it was quite a job. As we walked through the farmers’ market there must have been a dozen people standing in front of their stalls offering samples. Almost all of the peaches were great, but we decided on Frank. Not only because his peaches were big and perfectly ripe and delicious – but because he had the widest smile and friendliest attitude! I told him about my project and he ran from variety to variety, telling me the finer points of each. “Oh look at the deep red color! Did you ever see anything so pretty?” He pointed with the tip of his pocket knife as he cut open yet another peach for me to try.
As I mentioned to Frank, we’re having a banner year with our habañeros, so I needed peaches with a particularly strong peachy flavor to balance the zip of the peppers. The goal of the day was to create a delicious habañero-peach sauce for grilling chicken and fish. And we did it!
It’s so easy to make, and just wait till you taste it!
Habañero Peach Sauce
5 pint sized canning jars with new lids and rings.
3-5 big juicy peaches (enough to make 5 cups of finely chopped fruit)
4-5 habañero peppers, finely diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
One yellow onion
6 cups sugar
1 pouch of Certo liquid pectin
The first thing to do is fill the jars with hot water so they will not crack later when you pour in the boiling hot sauce.
The next thing to do it cut the top off the Certo package and stand it upright in a coffee cup so it will be handy, and ready to pour when the time comes.
Now put the diced fruit, peppers and onion into the saucepan.
(You don’t need fancy kitchen equipment – I have an indestructible old pressure cooker that I use for a saucepan since it no longer holds pressure. It must be 50 years old, but it’s perfect for things like this. I think I got it at a yard sale for a dollar about 10 years ago.)
Add the salt, lemon juice and sugar to the peach mixture.
Mix well and begin to cook it.
Stir the mixture until it comes to a full rolling boil that can’t be stirred down.
Now add the Certo, as you continue to stir. The boil will diminish a little.
Let it return to a full rolling boil.
Boil for one minute, then turn off the heat.
Ladle into hot jars and close with canning lids and rings.
Allow the jars to cool on the counter and listen for the “ping” that tells you each one is sealing.
That very evening we had mouth-watering habañero peach chicken. We just brushed the sauce on the chicken before we put it on the grill and a couple of times while it was grilling.
I filled a little sample sized jar of sauce and took it down to Farmer Frank, and he was thrilled.