Make your own. (Habanero Hot Sauce)

September 29, 2009


Chef Josh is a talented guy. Last year he had a party and made a bunch of chili –which was awesome. One of the best parts of the dinner was this killer homemade hot sauce that we put on everything, even the five-alarm batch he served. I remember that he captured the unique flavor of the habanero and, of course, its heat, but a base of apple balanced out the intensity with a little sweetness. This year, as soon as our crop of habaneros came in, I emailed Josh for his recipe and this is the response I got:

for the hot sauce:
Sweat out some onion/garlic, add in roughly chopped apples.  Simmer the mix in a brine (cider/rice vin., salt, sugar, water) and when the apples are soft, add the chilis and kill the heat and let it chill out for a day or so. (so it’s more like a pickled pepper than actually cooked to death)
I puree it, sometimes i strain it/sometimes i don’t.
you be the judge.
let me know how it turns out.

AAh chefs. I guess I would give a similar response… but it sent me straight to the kitchen, determined to create an actual recipe for a great sauce that fulfilled Josh’s, MG’s and my expectations. And, well, it turned out beyond. I want to put it on everything. I almost feel like bottling and selling it. I want to give it as gifts for Christmas, paint my house with it, fill up the fountain at Rockerfeller Center. Anyway… big shout out to Josh and TEAMWORK. Thanks alot!!


1 tablespoon oil (canola, grapeseed, sunflower, etc.)

1 cup onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 crisp apples, peeled and chopped (about 1.5 pounds) (any mix of braeburn, fuji, granny, gala, mac, etc.)

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

2.5 tablespoons salt

12 habanero peppers (about 2 ounces)

  • Sweat out the onion and garlic in warmed oil over a low flame. Once translucent, stir in the apples.
  • After sweating the apples for about 5 minutes, add 1/2 cup of water, the vinegar, sugar and 1.5 tablespoons of salt. Mix well and simmer until the apples are soft, about 20 minutes. It will resemble apple sauce.
  • Bury the whole habaneros in the sauce, remove from the heat. Cool slightly and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Next day: puree the mixture in a blender or food processor with an additional 2 cups of water and remaining 1 tablespoon of salt.

(yield: 6 cups hot sauce)

Can’t wait to douse the pulled pork I am making this weekend. Recipe to come!


  1. Looks awesome never used apples in a habanero sauce yet cant wait to try…

  2. Goint to Make this!!!

    Great blog by the way!!!

  3. is this recipe have a low enough acidity to be safely canned using the hot water bath method? Its AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! and i want to have it forever…….

  4. I have tried this several times. Came out excellent, thank you!

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