And we’re back! We have been MIA the past few days working non-stop and (unfortunately) without internet access but I promise we will make it up to you today!
First off, we braved the caramelized pineapple-habanero salsa Thursday with a few mishaps. As everyone should know – be EXTREMELY cautious when cutting up habanero peppers. When finished bleach everything. Just when you think you’re safe – bleach again! (Sorry to the roommate that learned the hard way). Also, when a storm’s a-brewin’ (aka super high winds, tons of water fall, and hail), read and read again the instructions (aka – don’t double everything except the pineapple. Oops!) before taking cover in the basement. As always, do as I say and not as I do.
And off we go-
Caramelized Pineapple-Habanero Salsa
[Yield: (4) Pints]
- 4 pint jars (plus flat lids and bands/rings) [Hint: I usually add an additional jar or 2 just in case. Also, as mentioned in Jar Sizes, you can always can in smaller sizes just not larger – meaning, you can use half-pints.]
- 1 water bath
- 1 funnel
- 1 jar lifter
- 1 stainless steel ladle
- 1 large stainless steel pot (or dutch oven)
- 1 dish towel (large enough for the jars to cool on)
- 2 cookie sheets
- Food processor
- Optional: Silver Stainless Steel Pineapple De-Corer, Peeler, and Stem Remover (see the gif)
- (2) 2 pound ripe pineapples
- 6 tbsp. sugar
- 2 cups chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (I used bottled)
- 1 habanero pepper (seeded and minced)
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (feel free to use less or omit if you don’t like the flavor)
- 1 1/2 tsp. non-iodized salt
To prevent browning of fruit, place in a mixture of 4 cups of water to 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice.
- Inspect each of your jars for cracks, chips, and/or any other questionable markings before use.
- Place wire rack into bottom of water bath with ‘arms’ up to allow jars to be placed.
- Fill you water bath with enough water to cover each of the jars with 2-3″ of liquid and place on burner to warm jars (simmer but do not boil).
- Pre-heat oven to 400*F
- Wash, peel, core, and cut pineapples into 1″ slices. [Remember, you can save all scraps – skin included – to make Tepache later on. Just store it in a freezer bag and throw in the freezer until you have time to tackle that project.]
- Place slices in a single layer on cookie sheets covered with cooking spray.
- Evenly coat pineapple with 1/4 cup sugar (Note: this will help to caramelize the pineapple. You may reduce the amount of sugar if desired).
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and turn over slices to bake for an additional 15 minutes (or until caramelized). Remove from oven and cool.
- Chop pineapple slices as desired to measure 6 1/2cups.
- Combine chopped pineapple, onion, lime juice, and habaneros in large pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in cilantro, salt, and remaining 2 tbsp of sugar.
- Place half of the pineapple mixture into a food processor to chop. [This was 2-3 pulses on my Nutri Ninja Ninja Blender System with Auto-IQ, Includes 18oz, 24oz and 32oz cups (BL682)]. Return chopped mixture to pot to cook for an additional 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Remove empty jars from water bath by lifting the wire rack and setting the arms on the rim of the water bath. Then, using jar lifter empty and remove the jar from the water and immediately fill with salsa using the ladle and funnel ensuring 1/2in head space. [Head space is the distance from the top of the jar to the food filling the jar.]
- Using the debubbler – stir the salsa to help any remaining bubbles escape.
- Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp cloth ensuring that the rims are clean.
- Place flat lid and screw band on jar and finger tighten. [Hint: Place the jar on a towel and using only your fingers, tighten the band until your jar spins on the towel.]
- Once finger tightened, return to warm water bath to avoid thermal shock. [Thermal shock is the cracking of jars from an extreme temperature swing such as putting hot food into a cold jar.] Lower wire rack once full.
- Place lid on canner, return to high heat and bring water to a full rolling boil.
- Once boiling, set timer for 15 minutes [refer to your elevations processing time for correct info].
- After 15 minutes, turn off heat and remove the lid. Wait an additional 5 minutes.
- Once again, lifting wire rack and placing arms on canner rim, use the jar lifter to remove your filled jars and place on a towel in a cool & draft-free location.
- Wait 24 hours before touching the jars. After 24 hours, remove the bands and pick up each jar from the flat lid (this will help ensure that each jar is truly sealed). Once the seal is verified, you may wash the exterior of the jars, dry, label, and store for future use.
Please note: As mentioned above – please do as I say and not as I do. You will see that I put the cilantro in at step 10 instead of 11 – this does not affect the safety of the product, just the visual appearance. Additionally, I doubled everything except my pineapples. Due to this the ratios shown in the pictures are not correct thus all products were placed in the fridge for storage after the 24 hour waiting period.