1 cup vinegar (5% acidity for canning - I use white or apple cider vinegar)
1 cup water (or fruit juice -- see note*)
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced garlic
1-1/2 cups hot red peppers, stemmed and seeded (save the seeds)
Briefly blend peppers in a food processor or blender so peppers are reduced to small bits but not liquified. Drop seeds in and blend for a short burst or two at the end, just till seed clumps are broken into individual seeds. Seeds should remain whole.
In a large, heavy saucepan, bring vinegar, water (or juice/fruit, if using), sugar and salt to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Reduce the heat and boil gently until the mixture thickens slightly, about 30 minutes.
Stir in the peppers and garlic. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a rolling boil. Let it boil for several minutes, until temperature on a candy thermometer reads 230º or a drop of sauce in cold water forms a short thread.
Pour into canning jars (pints or smaller) and process 10 minutes in a BWB or store cooled jars in refrigerator where the sauce should keep well for at least a year.
*Note: Excellent with pureed peaches or nectarines. Maybe applesauce or plums?
Notes from 2011-09-29 batch:
Pureed nectarines left from batch of nectarine vinegar (made with 2 quarts white vinegar, 1 quart chopped nectarines, 1/2 cup sugar - let sit in cool, dark cabinet for 6-8 weeks, strain off fruit) subbed puree for water in recipe above. Yield was 4 cups of pureed fruit so all ingredients, except sugar, were quadrupled. To offset sweetness of fruit (even though vinegar-soaked), sugar used was closer to 6-3/4 cups than the 8 cups called for when recipe X4. Peppers were a mix of hot red peppers including hot banana, cayenne, jalapeno and cherry peppers.
Adapted from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich