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Scotch Bonnet Sauce

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Makes: approximately 6 x 275 ml bottles or jars

Our family loves chillies and when we moved to France I started to grow them. Each year we experimented with growing different types of chillies and our favourite is the Scotch Bonnet. Although they are very hot, they also have a unique fruity taste which we love. They are a very bushy plant and grow slower than a cayenne chilli, sometimes we pick a few of the green ones because we can’t wait to try them.

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The Scotch Bonnet is the star in this sauce, its unmistakable fruitiness really comes out and of course, it is very, very hot and can blow your socks off. If you like, you can use less chillies or remove the seeds to get a milder sauce.

I started to sell the jams, chutneys and sauces I made each year from our garden produce. The chilli sauce and jams were the top sellers. One year I sold out at a local Christmas market, people buying them as Christmas presents. A local Mexican restaurant used to buy and sell my sauce and it even travelled to Paris to my neighbour’s brother-in-law’s restaurant. Consequently, there were some years where there wasn’t enough for the family and friends’ Christmas hampers.

Ingredients

  • 750 g (about 10 to 12) large tomatoes chopped
  • 12 red Scotch Bonnet chilli Peppers chopped
  • 750 ml (3 cups) cider vinegar
  • 250 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice tied up in a spice bag

Sterilise: at least 6 x 275 ml bottles or jars and lids

TOP TIP:
Be careful when handling very hot chillies, particularly scotch bonnets. It’s best to wear gloves as eyes wiped with chilli fingers can burn and smart for hours!

 

Place tomatoes, scotch bonnets and half the cider vinegar in a large saucepan or stockpot.
Put the lid on and cook for half an hour on a low heat until soft.
Pass through a passata machine/food mill or a seive.
Return the liquid to the saucepan and add the sugar and spice bag.
Stir and bring to a simmer and leave simmering for half an hour with the lid off.
Add the rest of the vinegar and simmer for a further hour or until you have a nice thick sauce.
Pour into hot sterilised bottles or jars using a funnel.
Will keep for up to 12 months in a cool, dark place.
Use like Tabasco, it will add a definite kick to any dish – works really well on a pizza! Besides livening up chicken or other meats, if I’ve run out of fresh chillies I use a tablespoon of Scotch Bonnet sauce instead of a chilli. Tastes great in fajitas and adds a zing to a salsa. It’s a larder staple in our house.
I’m entering this recipe into the first Spice Trail challenge (its theme is chilli) run by Vanesther at Bangers and Mash. At first I was struggling to decide which recipe to enter but thought it only fitting to enter a recipe with a chilli as its title. The challenge rules allow fresh chilies but if you are struggling to find fresh Scotch bonnets, feel free to use dried ones.

Sarah over at Taming Twins has a fab new linky Festive Food Friday, just the thing to get us all feeling festive. So if you’re looking for some inspiration this Christmas pop over and take a look.

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