The simple, and very familiar ingredients(to many of us), are all it takes to prepare a tasty homemade chamoy sauce. Who knew? I have enjoyed chamoy sauce all my life, but never really put much thought into what it was made of. Judging from the neon red/orange color that some of the chamoy sauce varieties come in, I still not sure what’s in them, lol! I love this stuff though and I don’t know why I waited this long to prepare the homemade version. In some recipes, they add apricot preserves and chile powder, but I wanted something more from scratch. In others, they add dried apricots, but why not fresh apricots with whole dried chiles? The chile limon powder is a must for the recipe. It adds that tart, spicy and deep red color to the already colorful sauce. For those of you who don’t know what chamoy is or what it’s used for, here is my best description. It is a Mexican condiment, mostly used on snack foods, like fruit, chips, pork rinds and even in cocktails. It’s a mix of fruit, spices, chiles, dried hibiscus and acid in some form or another. If you have ever enjoyed a sweet and sour sauce on Asian food, well something like that, but maybe not as sweet. My version has little sugar compared to some others, but if you like it sweeter, that’s up to you. I prefer mine more on the savory and spicy side.
Homemade Chamoy Sauce
Yields about 4 cups
1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
3 fresh apricots(large), remove pits and slice in half
1 large chile mulato or ancho, stem and seeds removed
6-8 chile de arbol, stems removed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup cooking water, from cooking fruit with chiles
1 cup hibiscus water, from cooking hibiscus
1/3 cup or more of chile limon powder(tajin, trechas…)
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
Tips~ The second batch I made, I substituted 1 apricot with 1 tart plum. Still very tasty! I used half and half each of the Trechas chile powder and Tajin
Add the dried hibiscus to a small sauce pan and cover with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature.
Once hibiscus has cooled, strain out the liquid. Reserve the hibiscus water. Transfer cooked hibiscus into a wire mesh strainer and carefully submerge into a bowl of water until hibiscus floats. Let sit for at least 20 minutes, stirring now and then. Doing this helps remove any of the remaining grit that is in the hibiscus flowers. The texture is like dirt and you don’t want to chew on that.
While the hibiscus soaks, in another sauce pan, add the apricots, chile mulato, chile de arbol and cranberries. Cover with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking until apricots are very soft.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ingredients to the blender. Add 1 cup of the water that the ingredients cooked in to the blender. Drain the hibiscus and add to the blender as well. Blend on high for 35-45 seconds. Scrape down the sides and blend again. Using a wire mesh strainer, strain into a bowl, pushing with a spatula to get all of the pulp.
Add the strained mix into a saucepan and heat to medium. Add 1 cup of reserved hibiscus water, 1/3 cup chile limon powder, sugar, lime juice and salt to taste. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat and cook for another 10-12 minutes. Taste for salt and sugar. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
There were only 2 apricots left for the second batch, so I added 1 tart plum. Tasty!
After the 3rd day, the chamoy sauce was so much more flavorful!
I took some of my Pulparindo candy, placed it in between plastic and rolled it to thin it out. I tehn wrapped it around some room temperature plums and small cucumbers. I rolled them in chile limon powder.
A little goes a long way, but if you like alot, then go ahead!
The plums were the perfect sweet tart and not too soft. Perfect for wrapping with Pulparindo. The Pulparindo candy I order through Mex Grocer online.