Sweet Heat

It’s been a busy and bountiful summer.  I’ve canned the usual – pickles, beets, salsa, tomatoes, etc. but nothing new or interesting until now.

Thanks to some inspiration from my niece (amongst the empty canning jars she returned was one with a peach salsa label on it – and a note “This was really good!”  Hint, hint…), I adapted my regular salsa recipe to include peaches as well as tomatoes.

Peach SalsaI felt comfortable substituting peaches for half of the tomatoes as they are lower in pH than tomatoes (3.5 vs. 4.5) so they add acidity to the overall recipe.  That’s a good thing.

Kellogg's Breakfast tomatoesI had some lovely Kellogg’s Breakfast heirloom tomatoes (the ones on the left and right).  They are my favorite tomato – sweet and juicy and a pretty color that I hoped would make a good looking salsa.

Tomatoes peeled, chopped and drained.I used 4 cups of peeled and chopped tomatoes (aren’t they a great color?)  Let them drain VERY well.  They are meaty but very juicy.

Lovely local peaches.Prepare 4 cups of peeled, chopped and drained peaches.  These were nice local peaches.

PeppersWe debated about using orange peppers, but BarBBQ Bill thought the salsa would need some red in it, so we used 1-1/2 cups of chopped red peppers.  This is about 1-1/4 cups sweet red peppers and 1/4 cup of mixed Anaheims and jalapenos for a little heat – all from our garden.  Feel free to adjust the heat level by using more hot peppers and less of the sweet ones.  Just don’t increase the total amount of peppers.

Onions, garlic and cilantro.Add 2-1/2 cups of chopped onions and 6 cloves of garlic, minced.  I was lucky to find some sweet local onions and the garlic came from the garden.  I used 4 cloves of garlic – ours were really big.  I also used about 1/4 cup of cilantro (I love cilantro – if you don’t, leave it out).

Combine the ingredients.Here’s everything in the pot.  I added the following spices:  2 teaspoons cumin, 2 tablespoons canning salt, and about 2 teaspoons of ground pepper (I used white pepper).

For the acidity (crucial for canning salsa because of the low acid vegetables like onions and peppers, and because you eat it without heating it up), I used 1/2 cup of cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of bottled lemon juice and 1/4 cup of bottled lime juice.  Use whatever combination of acidic liquids you like – all vinegar (as long it is at least 5% acidity), more lemon, more lime, whatever floats your boat.  Add at least one cup total – more if you like.

Mix and start to bring to the boil.Stir the ingredients and begin bringing it to a gentle boil.  A thick bottomed stainless pot works the best.

Cooking down.Gently boil the salsa for 10 minutes.  Start tasting.  I added another squirt of lime juice (I love lime!)  If your tomatoes aren’t as sweet as mine were, you can add sugar to taste.  Brown sugar might be nice with the peaches.

If it’s not thick enough (and you don’t care about the color), you can add 1-2 small cans of tomato paste and/or up to 2 cups of tomato sauce.  I wanted mine “peachy” colored, so I didn’t add any thickeners.  Mine did thicken nicely.

Peach SalsaPour into hot jars (use only 1/2 pint or pint jars – no quarts), seal and process in a hot water canning bath for 15 minutes.

BarBBQ Bill’s vote?  Two thumbs up!

Sweet Heat Peach Salsa

4 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
4 cups peaches, peeled, chopped and drained
2-1/2 cups onions, chopped
1-1/4 cups sweet peppers, chopped
1/4 cup hot peppers, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons pepper
2 tablespoons canning salt (kosher salt is fine – just don’t use iodized salt)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup 5% cider vinegar
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
1/4 cup bottled lime juice

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Pour into hot pint or half-pint jars, seal and process in a hot water canning bath for 15 minutes. Makes about 6 pints.

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2 Responses to “Sweet Heat”

  1. Daisy Mae Says:

    Great to see you posting again.

    I’ve also been experimenting with peach salsa this summer. I love your idea for the yellow tomatoes. Sadly peaches are gone around here. So I’m up to my elbows in tomatoes before the apples and pears come in!

  2. Gramma Greenjeans Says:

    I cannot believe how fast this summer flew by. We’ve only had a little over 9 inches of rain since May 1, and our well is running dry :-(

    Pretty much have had to stop watering, so most of the garden is already cleaned out. Now that I’m not canning or picking too much stuff, hopefully I’ll catch up on my blogging.

    Thanks for the comment – good to hear from you, too!