How to make Raspberry Chipotle Sauce - easily! With step by step photos, recipe ingredients and costs
This month's notes: April 2014: Spring is just around the corner. Strawberries are here in Florida, Texas and California, next in late March and April for much of the South, then in May for most of the country and June in cooler northern areas. See how easy it is to make strawberry jam or strawberry-rhubarb jam!
How to Make Homemade Raspberry Chipotle Sauce - Easily!
- 5 cups mashed raspberries, preferably fresh, but frozen (without syrup works, too)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, (about 1/3 of a 7oz can)
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 cups granulated sugar or 3 cups Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda) (or a blend of the sugar and Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda)), OR 2 cups honey.
- Jar funnel ($2 at Target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) or order it as part of the kit with the jar grabber.
- At least 1 large pot; I prefer 16 to 20 quart Teflon lined pots for easy cleanup.
- Large spoons and ladles
- Jar grabber (to pick up the hot
jars)- Big box stores and grocery stores sometimes carry them; and it is
available online - see this page. It's a tremendously useful to
put jars in the canner and take the hot jars out (without scalding
yourself!). The kit sold below has everything you need, and at a pretty
- 1 box Pectin (it's a natural product, made from apples and available at grocery stores (season - spring through late summer) and local "big box" stores. It usually goes for about $2.00 to $2.50 per box. You'll get best results with no-sugar needed pectin, whether you choose to add sugar or not! I prefer no-sugar pectin, but regular or low sugar also work. See here for more information about how to choose the type of pectin to use.
- 1 Canner (a huge pot to sanitize the jars after filling (about $30 to $35 at mall kitchen stores, sometimes at big box stores and grocery stores.). Note: we sell canners and supplies here, too - at excellent prices - and it helps support this web site!
- Ball jars (Grocery stores, like Publix, Kroger, Safeway carry them, as do some big box stores - about $7 per dozen 8 ounce jars including the lids and rings)
- Lids - thin, flat, round metal lids with a gum binder that seals them against the top of the jar. They may only be used once.
- Rings - metal bands that secure the lids to the jars. They may be reused many times.
- Foley Food Mill ($25) - not necessary; useful if you want to remove seeds (from blackberries) or make applesauce.
- Lid lifter (has a magnet to pick the lids out of the boiling water where you sanitize them. ($2 at big box stores or it comes in the kit at left)
This example shows you how to make either Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce, but you could just as easily substitute blackberries, strawberries, currants, loganberries, blueberries, or other berries instead of raspberries. Personally, I think raspberries are best, but do it the way you like!
The yield from this recipe is about 7 eight-ounce jars (which is the same as 3.5 pints).
Step 1 - Pick the berries! (or buy them already picked)
It's fun to go pick your own and you can obviously get better quality ones!
I prefer to grow my own; which is really easy - but that does take some space and time.
As mentioned in the Ingredients section; you may use frozen berries (those without syrup or added sugar); which is especially useful if you want to make some raspberry chipotle sauce in December to give away at Christmas!
How much fruit?
Raspberry Chipotle Sauce can ONLY be made in rather small batches - about 6 cups at a time - like the directions on the pectin say, DO NOT increase the recipes or the raspberry chipotle sauce won't "set" (jell, thicken). (WHY? Alton Brown on the Food Channel says pectin can overcook easily and lose its thickening properties. It is easier and faster to get an even heat distribution in smaller batches. It takes about 8 cups of raw, unprepared raspberries per batch.
Step 2 - Wash the jars and lids
Now's a good time to get the jars ready, so you won't be rushed later. The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle, the water bath processing will sanitize them as well as the contents! If you don't have a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle, you can wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse, then sanitize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, and keep the jars in hot water until they are used.
NOTE: If unsanitized jars are used, the product should be processed for 5 more minutes. However, since this additional processing can result in a poor set (runny raspberry chipotle sauce), it’s better to sanitize the jars.
Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water (that's what the manufacturer's recommend) for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" to pull them out. Leave the jars in the dishwasher on "heated dry" until you are ready to use them. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when you fill them with the hot raspberry chipotle sauce.
Step 3 -Wash the fruit!
I'm sure you can figure out how to wash the raspberries in plain cold water.
Step 4 - Crush the fruit
Then you just mush them up a bit - not completely crushed, but mostly. It's really done just to help measure the raspberries accurately. You'll need about 6 cups, mushed up.
If you want seedless sauce, you may need to run the crushed berries through a Foley food mill (at right). They cost about $30.
It works well for blackberries, ok for raspberries, and no one tries to remove strawberry seeds (they're so small). I suppose you could train monkeys to pick them out, but they'd probably form a trade labor union. But I digress..
Step 5 - Puree the chipotle in adobe sauce with the garlic and vinegar
Puree the 2 tablespoons of Chipotle Peppers in adobe sauce with 2 tablespoons minced garlic and 1/3 cup red wine vinegar in a blender, food processor or electric chopper.
Step 6 - Measure out the sugar
It takes 3 cups of sugar (or Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda), or 3 cups of a mix of the two). Of course, you can substitute honey (same amount). Mix the dry pectin with about 1/4 cup of sugar and Keep this separate from the rest of the sugar. If you are not using sugar, you'll just have to stir more vigorously to prevent the pectin from clumping. This helps to keep the pectin from clumping up and allows it to mix better!
Step 7 - Mix the berries with the pectin and cook to a full boil
Stir the pectin into the raspberries and blended chipotle and put the mix in a big pot on the stove over medium to high heat (stir often enough to prevent burning). It should take about 5 to 10 minutes to get it to a full boil (the kind that cannot be stirred away).
Why use pectin? Pectin, which occurs naturally in fruit, is what makes the mixture thicken. The pectin you buy is just natural apple pectin, more concentrated. Using pectin dramatically reduces the cooking time, which helps to preserve the vitamins and flavor of the fruit, and uses much less added sugar.
If you want the sauce to be thinner, just use less pectin, say half of the box.
Another tip: use the lower sugar or no-sugar pectin. You can add sugar to either and it cuts the amount of sugar you need to use. On the other hand; I have never had success with the No-sugar pectin without adding ANY sugar. It always turned out runny and bland. You might want to try using the low sugar or no-sugar recipe with a mixture of sugar and Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda); sugar and white grape juice, or just white grape juice - that will cut down the sugar, but still preserve the flavor.
Is your raspberry chipotle sauce too runny? Pectin enables you to turn out
perfectly set raspberry chipotle sauce every time. Made from natural apples,
there are also natural no-sugar pectins that allow you to reduce the sugar
you add by half or even eliminate sugar.!
Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!
Step 8 - Get the lids warming in hot (but not boiling) water
Lids: put the lids into a pan of hot water for at least several minutes; to soften up the gummed surface and clean the lids. Do the same with the jars (just put them in the canner until you are ready to fill them).
Need lids, rings and replacement jars?
Get them all here, delivered direct to your home, at the best prices on the internet!
Step 9 - Add the remaining sugar and bring to a boil again for 1 minute
When the berry-pectin mix has reached a full boil, add the rest of the sugar (about 4 cups of sugar per 6 cup batch of berries) and then bring it back to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute... If you bring it back to a full boil fairly slowly (on medium heat rather than high) that will help reduce foaming.
Remove from the heat.
Step 10 - Testing for "jell" (thickness)
I keep a metal tablespoon sitting in a glass of ice water, then take a half spoonful of the mix and let it cool to room temperature on the spoon. If it thickens up to the consistency I like, then I know the sauce is ready. If not, I mix in a little more pectin (about 1/4 to 1/2 of another package) and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute.
Notes about "set" (thickening or jell): It takes 3 ingredients for sauces and jellies to set: pectin, sugar and acidity. The amount of pectin that is naturally occurring in the fruit varies from one type of fruit to another and by ripeness (counter intuitively, unripe contains more pectin). See this page for more about pectin in fruit. It takes the right balance, and sufficient amounts of each of pectin, sugar and acidity to result in a firm sauce or jelly. Lastly, it takes a brief period (1 minute) of a hard boil, to provide enough heat to bring the three together. Generally speaking, if your sauce doesn't firm up, you were short in pectin, sugar or acidity or didn't get a hard boil. That's ok - you can "remake' the sauce; see this page!
Step 11 - Fill the jars and put the lid and rings on
Fill them to within ¼-inch of the top, wipe any spilled sauce off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Then put them into the boiling water canner!
This is where the jar tongs come in really handy!
Step 12 - Process the jars in the boiling water bath
Keep the jars covered with at least 2 inches of water. Keep the water boiling. Boil them for 5 minutes. See the chart below for altitude adjustment to processing times, if you are not in the sea level to 1,000ft above sea level range.
Note: Some people don't even boil the jars; they just ladle it hot into hot jars, put the lids and rings on and invert them - no credible authority (FDA, USDA, major universities food sciences departments, recommend this. Putting the jars in the boiling water bath REALLY helps to reduce spoilage! To me, it makes little sense to put all the working into making the sauce and then not to process the jars to be sure they don't spoil!
Recommended process time for raspberry chipotle sauces in a boiling water canner.
|Process Time at Altitudes of|
|Style of Pack||Jar Size||0 - 1,000 ft||1,001 - 6,000 ft||Above 6,000 ft|
Step 13 - Remove and cool the jars - Done!
Lift the jars out of the water with your jar lifter tongs and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight) You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.
Once cooled, they're ready to store. I find they last up to 12 months. But after about 6 to 8 months, they get darker in color and start to get runny. They still are safe to eat, but the flavor and texture aren't as good. So eat them in the first 6 months after you prepare them! Another trick is to keep the uncooked berries or other fruit in the freezer and make and can the sauce as needed, so it's always fresh.
Summary - Typical Cost of Making Homemade Sauce - makes 8 jars, 8 oz each**
|Item||Quantity||Cost in 2006||Source||Subtotal|
|Berries (strawberries)||1 gallon||$8.00/gallon||Pick your own||$8.00|
|Canning jars (8 oz size), includes lids and rings||18 jars||$7.00/dozen||Grocery stores, like Public, Kroger, Safeway and sometimes, Big Lots, local hardware stores and big box stores||$10.00|
|Sugar||4 cups||$2.00||Grocery stores, like Public, Kroger, Safeway and sometimes, Big Lots, local hardware stores and big box stores||$2.00|
|Pectin (low sugar, dry)||1 and a third boxes *||$2.00 per box||Grocery stores, like Public, Kroger, Safeway and sometimes, Big Lots, local hardware stores and big box stores||$2.70|
or about $1.25 per jar
* pectin use varies - blackberry sauce needs very little, raspberry
a little more, strawberry the most. |
** - This assumes you already have the pots, pans, ladles, and reusable equipment. Note that you can reuse the jars and reduce the cost further; just buy new lids (the rings are reusable, but the flat lids are not)!
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Feedback, Tips and Comments
- Comments from a visitor on September 28, 2011: "I just wanted to say thank you for the excellent raspberry chipotle sauce recipe! I did this today and I am very pleased with the taste. The one thing I added that you may want to offer as an option for the sauce is one seeded and stemmed jalapeno. I put my jalapeno in with the chipotles and such in the blender. It adds a very nice kick to the sauce. "
FAQs - Answers to Common Questions
As my jars are cooling after i take them out of the canner, they sometimes make a popping or hissing noise. Is this normal and safe?
Yes, the lids are designed to flex and that's actually a key selling point. You can tell if a jar hasn't sealed properly (after it has cooled completely) if the lid flexes and makes a popping sound when you press the center of the lid with your finger. The popping sounds while it is cooling is the lid being sucked down by the vacuum that is forming inside the jar - which a normal part of the sealing process. Hissing sounds are usually just escaping steam or hot water evaporating on hot surfaces, also normal!
- Why should cooked jelly be made in small batches?
If a larger quantity of juice is used, it will be necessary to boil it longer thus causing loss of flavor, darkening of jelly, and toughening of jelly. It really doesn't work. Trust me; I've tried many times!
- Can I use
frozen berries instead of fresh?
Yep! Raspberries can be particularly hard to find fresh and are expensive! Frozen berries work just fine, and measure the same. Just be sure to get the loose, frozen whole fruit; not those that have been mushed up or frozen in a sugar syrup!
- Should jelly be boiled slowly or
It should be boiled rapidly since long, slow boiling destroys the pectin in the fruit juice.
What do I do if there's mold on my jellied fruit product?
Discard raspberry chipotle sauces and jellies with mold on them. The mold could be producing a mycotoxin (poisonous substance that can make you sick). USDA and microbiologists recommend against scooping out the mold and using the remaining sauce or jelly.
Why did my jellied fruit product ferment, and what do I do?
Jellied fruit products may ferment because of yeast growth. This can occur if the product is improperly processed and sealed, or if the sugar content is low. Fermented fruit products have a disagreeable taste. Discard them.
- What happens if my
sauce or jelly doesn't gel?
Remaking cooked runny sauce or jelly instructions can be found on this page
- Could you tell me why my SAUCE is thicker then the store bought?
The natural pectin content of fresh fruit varies, so it is possible the the variety of fruit that you used has more natural pectin, making it thicker. But there's an easy answer - just add less pectin next time. You'll have to experiment to find how much pectin makes the consistency you like. Most people seem to like their sauce thick, so you may to need to only use 3/4 of a pack of pectin per batch.
- What is the best way to deseed berries for sauce? I heard a few different
ways. A food mill, a ricer, and cheese cloth.
For large seeds (blackberries, apples, and larger) I find a Foley Food Mill works best - it's certainly faster and easier than the other methods. Raspberry and smaller seeds are a real pain. They get stuck in (and clog) or pass through a food mill. The Villaware mill has a smaller screen that works great for them! See this page for more information about both strainers. Cheesecloth and jelly strainers are messy, take forever and you lose most of the pulp. For these, I find a metal sieve or colander (with small enough holes) and a spatula to help mush them and push the pulp through, is best. Also, heating the mushed up berries almost to boiling really helps to separate the seeds and pulp.
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