July 27, 2021

This bright red hot sauce is an integral part of the pantry as well as the most welcomed gift.

Find a pepper you love. I love cherry bell peppers and now I grow them just for this sauce. Some people like fresnos. Others like habaneros. You be you.

Remove the stem and core. Keep the seeds if you want the greatest Scoville heat, otherwise, dispose of them.

I like to make this with the giant soft first garlic of the season, the kind that feels a little bit sticky under the peel.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1/2 pound hot, red peppers, weighed before stemming and seeding, chopped roughly

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 swaths of lemon peel, removed with a vegetable peeler

2 large garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

In a one quart glass jar with a lid, pack the peppers, salt, lemon peel, garlic, and two vinegars. Press down on the solids so they are covered by the vinegar. Cover tightly and place in a cool, dark spot for 48 hours.

Into a medium saucepan over medium heat, empty the contents of the jar, add the honey, stir well, and bring the sauce to a boil for 2 minutes, until the pepper is slightly softened. Avoid inhaling the fumes! Remove from the heat, dispose of the lemon peels, and let the mixture cool.

Pour the contents into the beaker of a blender. Puree on high for 3 to 4 minutes, until the sauce turns a bright orange and it entirely smooth.

At this point, I should tell you to press the sauce through a fine sieve, but I never bother. Bottle it and keep it refrigerated. (Or freeze it, defrost and return it to the blender to re-emulsify, then bottle it.)


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