Are you tired of my canning posts yet? Good, me neither.
Our jalapenos produced like crazy this year, and so did tomatoes despite the blight. And we go through a ton of both of those vegetables in our house. Quite often we use those two together, especially in the winter, when the endless pot of chili ™ is the best way to stay warm and full.
I’ve been canning those two separately throughout the fall, and then it hit me: why not cook up a few jars of spicy jalapeno tomatoes and make my husband’s job a bit easier? Both go in the chili after all. He didn’t mind this little experiment. Sorry, no precise recipe here because I was basically winging it based on generic tomato canning recommendations. Please consult the NCHFP or a trusted canning cookbook for your exact pressures, times and procedures.
I gathered up every tomato that has ripened since we picked them clean before the first frosty night. Together I think it was about 9 lbs or so, maybe less. I ended up with exactly 4 quarts cooked. I processed the tomatoes as you usually would, blanching them in a saucepan for a minute, dropping them into a sink with icy water to cool and then gently peeling, coring and cutting the fruit into a big pot. I did all 8 pounds by myself, while watching through the kitchen window as my husband was changing oil in our truck .
Once all of those were done, I put on some rubber gloves (very important if you like not being in excruciating pain from accidentally rubbing your eye) and started chopping jalapenos. I didn’t core the peppers since we wanted as much spice as we could get. I think I had about half a pound of peppers. They were cut up into 1/8 inch rounds.
Once all of the prep was done, I mixed tomatoes and jalapenos in the pot and left them to boil while I was sterilizing the jars, etc. Soon the concoction started bubbling. I couldn’t resist trying it – mmm spicy! It definitely had a zing. I wonder if it becomes even hotter after mellowing for a few weeks or months.
Hot tomato-jalapeno goodness went straight into the heated jars, along with a tablespoon of lemon juice (USDA recommends 2, so you should do as they say. But I don’t want to). I ended up with exactly 4 quarts with 1 inch headspace. No salt added, have you noticed? That can always be fixed later.
The tomatoes went into my pressure canner and stayed there for 25 minutes (after venting and getting up to pressure). And I got a moment to finally sip on some beer and relax with a silly movie, while keeping an eye on the gauge of course.
Once everything cooled, I noticed the tomatoes separated a lot. I think this is due to the fact that we planted some kind of a generic tomato, most likely a slicing variety. It’s a very watery kind for sure. Also I noticed some siphoning (missing liquid on top). The tomatoes will still be shelf stable; however, I think I need to look into some additional gizmos for my canner to help keep the pressure on point, which is supposed to fix this issue once and for all.
Oh well, still not bad for my first year. And I am not even done yet! Remember that pumpkin butter and pickled pumpkin? It is still coming up! And since I am pretty much done with canning for the year, expect more cheeses showing up in your feed.