Cue the old school Zelda theme song, because I’m on a quest: make a canning salsa that is spicy enough for my husband to enjoy the heat all winter long. This recipe came from the Food Channel. The result is a salsa with a decent amount of spice (but my quest is not over yet). I know that I can just add some habaneros for some serious heat, and that would be great for a salsa to stick in the fridge and eat within the week. However, whenever I want to put tomatoes in the cabinet for a year, I am wary of playing with the ingredients. That’s because I know that it has to have the correct level of acidity, etc. in order to avoid spoiling the food. Does anyone out there know of a tested recipe for a spicy canning tomato salsa? I think there are a still a few weeks left of tomato season, and I would like to give it one more try.
That being said, this salsa is fairly easy and pretty delicious. Adjust the number of jalapeños, or take out some seeds if that’s your preference. This recipe could also use a bit more salt, but I would taste it first and decide what you want to do. These tomatoes came from a farm stand in Amagansett, and the jalapeños came from the rooftop garden.
One more note: My makeshift canner holds 4 pint jars at a time. I only processed 4 jars and put the other two directly in the fridge. Then when I noticed how the salsa wasn’t salty, I started to doubt that it would stay good in the cabinet. The next day, I noticed some air bubbles in a few of the jars, so I decided put three more in the fridge. I didn’t want to take any chances. I only have one jar left in the cabinet. I will open that one in a few months and let you know if it worked.
For more information about canning, you can check out my other experiments:
Peach Salsa (this one has details about how to can)
- 6 pounds of tomatoes
- 10 jalapeños, chopped (seeds included)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 9 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 3 onions (preferably 1 white, 1 yellow, 1 red)
- 6 pint jars (either small mouth or wide mouth is fine)
- Lids and rings
- Water bath with rack
- Sterilize jars and seals. (I did this by putting them in my dishwasher which gets super hot. Some dishwashers have a sterilize cycle, and that would work, too.)
- Start heating up your water for your water bath, if canning
- Put clean tomatoes in boiling water for 30-45 seconds, and then plunge them into ice water. The tomatoes will be easy to peel as a result.
- Peel tomatoes and cut out cores or bad spots. Chop the tomatoes to desired size (they will cook down so leave them slightly larger than you want them to be in the salsa).
- Mix tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, salt, and cumin and bring to a boil.
- Add onion, peppers, and cilantro. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 7-10 minutes.
- Remove 1 cup of liquid (to thicken the salsa).
- Put salsa in sterilized jars leaving 1/2 inch of headroom. (Stop here and put lids on if you are not canning)
- I did not do this, but I will next time: Use a chopstick or knife to slide around the jar to get rid of air bubbles.
- Wipe the rim of the jar, place sterilized seal on jar, and tighten the ring.
- Place jars in water bath for 15 minutes (time depends on altitude – more time for higher altitudes).
- Remove jars and let stand for at least 24 hours. Remove rings (optional) and store. If the jar did not seal, place it in refrigerator and use within a week.
New York City is the big apple, so I went to town with some Empire apples from the Carroll Street Farmer’s Market this morning. I don’t own a food mill, and I dislike peeling apples because I feel like I am wasting so much food in the process (plus I was feeling lazy). So, I just made this applesauce with the peels. You can peel the apples for a more traditional take on applesauce, but you won’t get this gorgeous pink hue. It will also take a lot longer. Since I was planning on canning the sauce, I wanted to save my time and energy for that step.
Applesauce is not just for kids or other people without teeth! I’m looking forward to putting this applesauce on latkes come December.
For more fun and seasonal preserving projects , take a look at my strawberry jam post from the spring, or my pickled green beans post from the summer. For detailed directions about canning, the Peach Salsa post is the one to check out.
Ingredients (if you want less applesauce, just cut the recipe in half–they might cook a bit more quickly)
- 6 pounds of apples ( I used 18 Empire apples)
- 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons sugar (optional; to taste)
- Combine lemon juice and water in a very large pot.
- Core and chop apples into approximately 1-inch pieces, and toss into the pot with the lemon juice mixture as you go to prevent apples from discoloring.
- Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender.
- Blend in batches in a food processor, or use an immersion blender.
- Return applesauce to the pot, and add sugar to taste. Heat briefly until sugar is dissolved.
- Refrigerate and serve within 5 days. Alternatively, you can preserve it in jars for up to a year: I processed 8 half-pint jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.