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Peach Barbecue Sauce

Peaches lend mellow sweetness and a syrupy consistency to barbecue sauce. This robust sauce is best used with ribs, chicken or pork. To prevent the sauce from burning, wait until the last 15 minutes of cooking before generously basting the meat.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lb. peaches
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Rio Sweet, coarsely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup bourbon or water
  • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs. peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Have ready 4 hot, clean one-pint jars and their lids.

Blanch and peel the peaches, then halve them and remove the pits. Slice the peach halves. Pour the lemon juice into a large nonreactive bowl, add the peaches and stir to coat with the lemon juice.

In a large nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the peaches, sugar, vinegar and bourbon. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the peaches and onion are very tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool.

Working in batches, transfer the peach mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a clean, large nonreactive saucepan. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, ginger and chili powder. Bring 
to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until hot, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the hot sauce into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.

Process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes 4 one-pint jars.

Adapted from The Art of Preserving, by Lisa Atwood, Rebecca Courchesne & Rick Field (Weldon Owen, 2010).