A Peach of a Peach
The peach has been valued for thousands of years in its native China. It signifies luck, abundance, and protection. Peaches are one of summer’s greatest fruits.
Peach Apple Salsa6 cups Roma tomatoes, chopped (three pounds whole)
2 ½ cups yellow onions, diced (2 large whole)
2 cups green bell peppers, chopped (1 ½ large whole)
10 cups unripe peaches, chopped (4 ½ pounds whole)
2 cups Granny Smith apples, chopped (2 whole large)
4 tablespoons mixed pickling spice
1 tablespoon canning salt
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
3 ¾ cups packed light brown sugar
2 ¼ cups cider vinegar (5 percent acetic acid)
Yield: 6 to 8 pints
To peel tomatoes, dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split. Then dip in cool water and remove skins. Chop into ½-inch pieces. Peel, wash, and dice onions into ¼ inch pieces. Wash, core, and seed bell peppers; chop into ¼ inch pieces. Combine chopped tomatoes, onions, and peppers in an 8- to 10- quart Dutch oven or saucepan.
To prevent browning of peaches and apples, prepare an ascorbic acid solution by crushing three 500-mg tablets of vitamin C and placing in on-half gallon of water. Wash, peel and pit peaches; cut into halves and soak for 10 minutes in an ascorbic acid solution. Drain. Wash, peel and core apples; cut into halves and soak for 10 minutes in ascorbic acid solution.
Drain. Quickly chopped peaches and apples into ½-inch cubes to prevent browning. Add chopped peaches and apples to the saucepot with the vegetables.
Place pickling spices in a muslin square and tie ends to make a spice bag. Add the pickling spice bag to the saucepan; stir in salt, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, and vinegar. Bring to boiling, stirring gently to mix ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove spice bag from pan and discard.
With a slotted spoon, place salsa solids into hot, clean pint jars, leaving 1 ¼ inch headspace. Cover with cooking liquid, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim and place lid and ring in place. Process in a boiling water canner. Process time in a boiling water canner for pint jars at the following elevations:
0-1,000 feet, 15 minutes
1,001–6,000 feet, 20 minutes