Maple Apple Barbecue Sauce – an easy to make homemade barbecue sauce using common ingredients that’s especially good on chicken or pork.
This Maple Apple Barbecue Sauce was actually inspired by my Apple Barbecue Pulled Pork recipe which is actually a slow, oven braised version of pulled pork. That pulled pork is a particular favourite of my soon to be 16 year old son Noah.
My kids have been taught in French from Kindergarten through High School and now attend summer programs in Quebec City where they have classes and get a chance to speak the language for a few weeks. My son, Noah, just returned this past weekend from 4 weeks in Quebec with his friends having a great time. When he returned home this past weekend, I had his favorite pulled pork waiting for him.
As I was making it for the hundredth time, I’m sure, I thought perhaps taking the flavors in the apple based braising sauce and turning them into a barbecue sauce might be a great idea. I started with the same base of apples and onions for the sauce and decided that maple syrup would just be the thing to sweeten the sauce and act as a counterpoint to the tangy apple cider vinegar that’s also in the recipe. I tweaked the spicing a little, adding a little touch of chipotle powder for mild heat and flavor as well.
The resulting sauce turned out beautifully. The apples, as a base give great body to the sauce, making it easy to brush on and it had an excellent balance of sweet and tangy that practically defines any great barbecue sauce. We tried it on some simple barbecue chicken which was delicious but since I have plenty left over, I’ll be trying it on some pork chops soon because apple and pork go so well together.
You don’t want to use firm apples like Granny Smith’s for this recipe. You need an apple like a MacIntosh that breaks down into an applesauce easily. Gala apples are also a good choice. Try this website for a chart which will guide you on choosing apple varieties for different purposes.
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 small red onion finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic minced.
- 4 large or 6 small applesauce apples MacIntosh or Gala are good
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground powdered ginger
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp chipotle powder more to taste if you like the sauce to be hotter, You can substitute chili powder to taste if you like.
Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan and saute the onions and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes until they soften but do not brown.
Add the apples along with all of the remaining ingredients.
Simmer very slowly for about an hour or until the sauce thickens and has reduced considerably.
Remove from the heat and let cool for at least a half hour before purring to smooth in a blender or food processor.
This sauce can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week. When bottled properly in mason jars, it can last all summer.