My summer food gift repertoire is already so full. The pantry is stocked with rhubarb-vanilla jam, everything strawberry (because, strawberries!) and a few raspberry, cordial-style infusions. I’ve frozen pounds and pounds of fresh fruit, including two types of apricots which may go into daily smoothies or a nutty sweet tart. Before I use them up completely, I know about half a pound of those ripe, sweet orange gems will get blended into this fruit-sweetened barbecue sauce for my beach weekend hostess. Merci, Denise!
One of the many things I enjoy about contributing to Eat Boutique is that I have truly become a better hostess and a better guest. Since I’m always thinking about how to make and give food, sharing recipes here just makes sense. In fact, everyone who contributes to this food-gift-filled space is filled with a wealth of ideas around taking the act of cooking and eating to another level. That’s what Food Gift Love is, right?
In the past, I would bring the token bottle of wine or flowers to my hostess of the evening; now I try to think a little more creatively when invited to an event. Food gifts are always welcome at any event. This Chipotle Apricot Barbecue Sauce is just one delicious way to say, “Thank you for having me!”
MORE: No time to cook? Give our favorite hot sauce set to the host of your next get-together.
Lately, I’ve liked to surprise my hosts with something that may not actually be consumed during the meal or even on day I gift it. Rather, it can be enjoyed on its own once I’m gone. That way, they have a special treat to enjoy later (that reminds them of what a fabulous guest you were and are). It expands the definition of a hostess gift. Instead of the same old thing, you can gift drinks or dessert, special condiments, an unusual baking mix, or a well executed staple.
This barbecue sauce goes behind grilling. You can gift it as a thank you during brunch or during a cocktail night, even as an invitation for your next get together.
I am a huge fan of using summer fruit as an addition to my barbecue sauces. It’s a way to cut back on the sugar content while adding even more flavor. I wanted to create a rich, gooey and smoky sauce so I used an apricot and chipotle mix (trust me on this flavor combination, they pair together beautifully).
You will want to use very ripe apricots; the softer and brighter the apricots, the better the sauce will turn out. I have used this condiment on pork ribs as well as chicken thighs, and both were outstanding. I’m thinking grilled jumbo shrimp next!
MORE: For more preserves and sauces, check out the Food in Jars cookbook.
Apricot Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
Makes: 2 quarts
- 8 ounces apricots, pitted and cut into quarters
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup (I use the lowest sugar content one I can find)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chipotle paste
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Place the apricots and water into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Place the apricot puree along with the ketchup, brown sugar, and chipotle paste into a medium saucepan. Stir until combined.
- Simmer over very low heat for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the vinegar and continue simmering for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- 2 quart jars
- Twine or ribbon
- Basting brush
- Pour the sauce into a glass jar, tie with twine or a ribbon and add a basting brush for a festive look.
Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.