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Peach Apple Salsa

August 18, 2010

So far this summer, we have made peach jam and peaches in syrup.  Looking for an alternative, we found a recipe for Peach Apple Salsa at the good old USDA website.  Our peaches and apples came from the Hindiger’s CSA, and the rest of the veggies were bought at the farm.  The folks at Hindiger’s were impressed by the merger of tradition (canning) and technology (looking up the recipe on my iphone).

Peach Apple Salsa, ready for jarring

Recipe

  • 6 cups (2¼ pounds) 1/2″ pieces chopped Roma tomatoes (about 3 pounds tomatoes as purchased)
  • 2½ cups diced (1/4″ pieces) yellow onions (about 1 pound or 2 large)
  • 2 cups chopped green bell peppers (about 2 medium peppers)
  • 10 cups (3½ pounds) peeled and chopped hard, unripe peaches (about 9 medium peaches or 4½ pounds as purchased peaches)
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped hard and tart apples (about 3 medium apples as purchased)
  • 4 tablespoons mixed pickling spice
  • 1 tablespoon canning salt
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3¾ cups (1¼ pound) packed light brown sugar
  • 2¼ cups apple cider vinegar (5%)

Yield: 6 pints

Combine the tomatoes through the peppers in a large non-reactive pot (dutch oven for us).

We blanched the peaches to facilitate peeling, although when the are unripe, the skins are pretty resistant to coming off regardless.  As you peel, halve and core the peaches, place them in a large bowl with an ascorbic acid solution (1500 mg in half gallon water).  We grind up a Vitamin C tablet and add that to the water (its the same thing), but you can also buy ascorbic acid powder at canning and brewing supply stores.   Peel, halve and core the apples as well, adding them to the water.  This helps to prevent browning.  When they have been sitting in the water for about 10 minutes, take them out and roughly chop them into 1″ pieces.  Add them to the other vegetables.

Wrap your pickling spice in a cheesecloth and add to the pot.  Note: Next time we try this recipe, we might omit this.  The pickling spices contain things like cinnamon and allspice- I think I would rather have more control over the flavor and choose our own spices.  Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. While you are doing this, get your jars nice and hot in a boiling water bath (don’t forget to have your lids heating up but not boiling on standby).

Because this recipe creates a lot of liquid, you need to strain out the solids and fill the jars with that first.  Then you add the liquid over it.  We found that the best way to tackle this is to pour out all of the salsa into a collader with a large bowl below it.  This separates the liquids from the solids, allowing you to fill all of the jars with salsa from the collander first, then to use the liquid to fill the jars from the bowl below.  This makes for a more tightly packed jar (perhaps why we had a yield of 6 pints rather than the suggested 7 in the USDA recipe), but also for a thicker less watery salsa.  And you don’t have to chase after those last bits of fruit through all of the liquid.  Trust us, it is a good idea.

Don't forget to poke out the bubbles!

Poke/stir out the bubbles, and add more liquid until you have 1/2″ headspace.  Seal and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.  Enjoy with thick blue corn tortilla chips or poured over whatever it is that you are grilling…

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