A few days ago I shared with you my canning cupboard. The recipe that I am going to share with you today I would not dream of doing without. It is my grandmother's Chili Sauce recipe. My grandmother was a wonderful cook and her chili sauce was amazing. Shortly after Mr. P and I married, I went to my mother and got the recipe for Grandma's Chili Sauce. For years I tried making the chili sauce just like Grandma used to but it was always so watery when I was done. I tried boiling it longer but then I just burned it. I tried using plum tomatoes but nothing seemed to work. It turns out that I was supposed to spoon off the excess liquid. Somehow I missed copying down that vital piece of information!
I was relating this tale to my 97 year old next-door neighbor when she informed me that I shouldn't drain off all of that liquid goodness. She said to add peaches, pears and apples to "soak it all up". I gave it a try and I have to say that I wouldn't make it any other way now.
This fruited version of Chili Sauce is very versatile. Not only do we use it as a condiment but I use it in a lot of other ways too. I love dipping a grilled cheese sandwich into it instead of ketchup. On a busy fall or winter day I will grab a jar of chili sauce, a can of baked beans and some sliced up sausage and put it all in a slow cooker on low. Dinner is ready when we get home and the house smells wonderful. I also use it over pork chops cooked in the slow cooker.
Okay, enough talk. Here is a slightly tweaked version of my grandmother's chili sauce.
Fruited Chili Sauce
10 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
3 large onions, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 small hot red pepper, finely chopped
3 tbsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
3 large apples, peeled and chopped
3 large peaches, peeled and chopped
3 large pears, peeled and chopped
1 cup of brown sugar
Boil everything except the brown sugar for one hour, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce is fully cooked take it off the heat and add the brown sugar. Mix thoroughly and pour sauce into clean canning jars leaving 1/2 head space at the top. Place lids on the jars and put jars into a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars and cool on the counter. Check jars to ensure that they sealed and place any unsealed jars in the fridge to use within the next 3 weeks.