Stone Fruit BBQ Sauce

Stone Fruit BBQ Sauce

This recipe and text comes to us from Albany Shop Manager Ray Seraphin:

This is a produce and spice-driven variation on a Texas-style barbecue sauce featuring a treasured California summer crop. The zesty-sweet flavor of stone fruit brings dimension to the sauce, adding succulence and richness of flavor. Our Oaktown Sweet Heat BBQ Rub creates a subtle burn, and the aromatics in the blend, like lemongrass and amchoor, play a complementary role to the fruit. 

I usually make a big batch of this sauce during the dizzying heights of stone fruit season and spread the wealth at family cookouts. Natural pairings are pork belly, chicken thighs, and — for veg friends — grilled eggplant. Lightly brush or baste your protein with sauce to build flavor during the cooking process rather than slathering it on at the end.

For economical eaters, consider this recipe a savory way to use up that end-of-season fruit: the bruised, overripe kind that people invariably make into jam because they don't know what else to do with it. Freeze a container of sauce and bust it out when you need a little warmth during the cold winter months. (I like it baked into tofu, served on a bed of garlicky collard greens).

Note: If you can't find piloncillo, you can substitute dark brown sugar.

Makes about 1 quart


1 tablespoon grapeseed oil 
1 medium yellow onion, rough chopped 
1 inch ginger, grated
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 tablespoons Oaktown Sweet Heat
1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
6 medium peaches (sub nectarines, plums or apricots), peeled and rough chopped (about 2 lbs)
2 tomatoes, cored and rough chopped 
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce*
1/2 block of piloncillo, grated (about 3.5 oz)
1 tablespoon tapioca starch or cornstarch, in a cold water slurry
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 
2 cups water
salt to taste

*sub vegan Worcestershire or liquid aminos to make this sauce vegan friendly


Heat oil in a sauce pot and bring to medium heat. Add onion and sauté for five minutes until onions are slightly browned.

Add ginger, garlic, Oaktown Sweet Heat, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Cook for an additional three minutes. Add tomatoes and stone fruit; cook for three more minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until ½ liquid remains and the fruit and vegetables have softened.

Remove from heat. Once cool, blend on high in a blender until a smooth puree forms. Store in a refrigerator for up to two months.

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