A week before the Autumn Equinox, Colorado’s front range saw its first snowflakes. Seemingly too soon to be protecting our gardens from frost, I took the weatherman’s advice and harvested the last of my garden, which has already slowed down quite a bit. My basket was filled with perfectly red, waxy, firm fresno chili peppers, which we planted because of their medium-hot heat and bold flavor. I had minced them finely for salsas, salads, and soups but I needed to figure out a way to utilize a pound of these fiery beauties. Hot Sauce! We go through a lot of hot sauce in our home and pride ourselves on our vast collection. Why not make our own? Hot sauce is simply a blend of hot peppers, vinegar, salt, and a little sugar – but I wanted to do something more personal and creative.
In our front yard stands a droopy, yet healthy young peach tree that has gifted us a few sweet little peaches. They aren’t quite as big and luscious as the prized Palisade peaches of the high country orchards on Colorado’s famous western slope…but they are ours and therefore imperfectly perfect. Blending hot and sweet and acidic is an ideal flavor profile for the hot sauce of my dreams, so I picked the last remaining two peaches from our little tree and made Fresno Chili Peach Hot Sauce. This recipe can be adapted to utilize any combination of hot peppers and fruit (or sans fruit) so get creative and have fun!
Fresno Peach Hot Sauce
Makes 5-6 cups
- 1 lb. stemmed fresh fresno chilies
- 2 ripe peaches, quartered, skin-on
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
- Food processor or blender
- Large stainless-steel or glass containers
- Fine-mesh strainer
- Sterilized funnel and jars (or bottles)
- Place chilies, peaches, and salt in food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- Pour into a metal or glass container (avoid plastic), cover loosely and let rest at room temperature for one day to ferment slightly.
- Mix in the vinegar, cover loosely again, and let rest at room temperature up to one week. The longer it sits the deeper and spicier it will become. Try it each day until it is to your taste.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl.
- This is a raw recipe and may come out thin. If you choose, you may boil the hot sauce down to a thicker syrup.
- Use a funnel to pour the strained hot sauce into sterilized jars or bottles. (To sterilize, boil washed jars and lids for at least five minutes.)
- Enjoy! The hot sauce is good for a about five months.