Friday, August 19, 2011

A {Peach} of a Day!

Today was an awesome day!  A few friends and I got together and canned peaches.  I am not a huge peach person but was very excited when we decided to try making some peach salsa and peach barbeque sauce.  Both recipes were new to me, but sounded wonderful.  Honestly, I can't wait to make chicken or pork chops to use one of our awesome sauces.  I am sure it would be great on fish too, however we are really not fish eaters at my house.

We started the morning by blanching our peaches and getting them all peeled.  This went relatively quickly since there were 4 of us.  We also prepped our ingredients for the salsa and barbeque sauce.  This was a bit more time consuming since everything needed to be finely chopped.

One HUGE lesson we learned - wear gloves when working with jalapenos.  My fingers still tingle hours later and I only cut up the last 2.  My friend will be feeling the burn for a couple of days for sure.  We spent every chance we had soaking our fingers in milk, which offered some relief but not completely.

Our first recipe was the Peach Salsa.  This recipe came from  It is very tasty!



     6 cups chopped peaches ( about 3 pounds)
     3 large fresh tomatoes
     1 1/2 cups chopped red onions
     4 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
     1 large sweet red peppers, seeded and finely chopped
     1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
     1/2 cup white vinegar
     2 tablespoons liquid honey
     3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
     1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
     1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1.  Sterilize eight (8) 1/2 pint jars, then place upside down in a 325 F oven for about 15 minutes.  (We used the warming drawer which was perfect for keeping our jars warm and sterile.)
2.  Blanch peaches, cool in cold water, peel, pit and chop to measure 6 cups.  (We used a pasta pot with a strainer insert which was great for dropping the peaches in and simply pulling them out of the water.  We had 48 lbs of peaches so this was definitely a process.)
3.  Blanch tomatoes and cool with cold water, peel, remove seeds and cut into chunks.
4.  In a large stainless or enamel cooking pot, combine peaches, tomatoes, onion, Jalapeno peppers, sweet red pepper, cilantro, vinegar, honey, garlic, cumin and cayenne pepper.
5.  Bring to a boil, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. If the mixture is too sloppy or soupy, boil for a few minutes longer so that some of the liquid evaporates and the mixture thickens.
6.  Adjust seasonings to taste. Add more cayenne pepper if you desire a spicier taste.

Canning Process
1.  Ladle salsa into hot jars to within 1/4 inch of top for headspace.
2.  Remove air bubbles by sliding a rubber spatula between the glass and salsa.
3.  Re-adjust the headspace to 1/4 inch.
4.  Wipe jar rim to remove any stickiness.
5.  Center lid on top of jar; apply screw band just until finger tight.
6.  Place jars in a hot bath in a canner and process for 10 minutes.
7.  Remove jars and place on a towel, then cover with another towel to cool slowly.
8.  Jars are sealed when the lids pop and are curved down, (concave).
9.  Label jars and store in a cool, dark place.

NOTE: You can substitute and use 6 cups of fresh, chopped pineapple or mango for a different flavor.  I would love to try mango as that has got to be my favorite salsa at La Salsa - well aside from the cranberry salsa which is amazing but only available at Thanksgiving and Christmas!  I will be sharing my homemade version of that in a couple of months!

We made a double batch of the salsa which yielded us 12 pints.  This is a bit more that the recipe states, however I can honestly say, the recipe was a guide as we were not completely accurate on our measurements.

Next on the agenda was the Zesty Peach BBQ Sauce. This recipe came from the Ball Fresh Preserving website.  I will admit, I wasn't sure about a barbecue sauce but it is amazing and I totally want to go out and get more peaches so that I can make more of this for a quick fruity addition to chicken or pork!  It is definitely zesty, sweet, peachy and delicious!!!

Zesty Peach BBQ Sauce

     6 cups finely chopped pitted peeled peaches (about 3 lb or 9 medium)

     1 cup finely chopped seeded red bell pepper (about 1 large)
     1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 large)
     3 Tbsp finely chopped garlic (about 14 cloves)
     1-1/4 cups honey
     3/4 cup cider vinegar
     1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
     2 tsp hot pepper flakes
     2 tsp dry mustard
     2 tsp salt
     8 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

1.   Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.  Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens to the consistency of a thin commercial barbeque sauce, about 25 minutes.
3.  Ladle hot sauce into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
4.  Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Here it is simmering!  We used
an immersion blender to give
it a smooth texture.
This barbecue sauce was amazing!  I can't wait to use it!  I was planning to make chicken or pork chops tonight for dinner until I did the bummer part of the day...I splashed boiling hot water on my neck and chest and boy does it burn.  Fortunately, it wasn't bad enough to have to go to see a doctor but it made me decide that it is an "order pizza" kind of night.  I have already set out pork chops for tomorrow night.  I will share pictures tomorrow along with a review from the hubby and kids.
Finally, we did actually can a few peaches as just peaches! 
For the canned peaches, we used a cold pack method with a light syrup on it.  After slicing the peaches, we filled the jars to the top.  We made a light simple syrup using 2 cups of white sugar dissolved in a quart of water and poured it over the peaches, leaving a 1/2" head at the top of the jar.  Using a spatula, we pushed down the sides of the jars to release any air pockets.  After this process, we poured a little more syrup on top to make sure the jars will filled adequately. 
We then wiped down the rims of the jars, placed our lids and began to process the peaches.  We processed the jars by covering them in a large pot of boiling water for 30 minutes for the quart jars and 20 minutes for pint jars.  Note:  If you have any jars that do not seal properly, clean them off and repeat the processing.  If they do not seal the second time, open the jar and eat them.  Mmmmm!!!

It really was a peach of a day!

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  1. What a lovely day of canning! I have never done anything like that but hear great things about it. We have friends who grow tomatoes and can salsa and sauce! So, we reap the benefit of that! Looks delicious!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  2. WOW, you weren't kidding. That is a WHOLE lot of peachy goodness.

    I'm def pinning this to my recipe board, everything looks so yummy, and peachy bbq sauce, WOW... :)

    p.s. If you get a chance I'm inviting you over to my blog, I'm kinda having a HUGE giveaway going on, and you MIGHT like it, (or LOVE it). I'd be so happy to have your support!
    Hugs, Bella :)
    **$5 for every LIKE giveaway** @ Bella Before and After
    **$200 SHOP till you DROP giveaway** @ Bella Before and After.

  3. I'm going to have to try the bbq sauce. I made mango bbq sauce about a month ago and it was amazing.

  4. what a great post!! Thanks for the recipes

  5. I LOOOOOOVE sweet salsa and this looks amazing! Thank you so much for linking it up at Savvy HomeMade Monday. The party will start again shortly! :)


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