Cranberry Jalapeno Jam! Yes Please!

Cranberry Jalapeno Jam!

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Cranberries appear to be everywhere this time of year! I love them frozen in smoothies, cranberry sauce, cranberry relish, in fact, I can’t think of cranberry anything I don’t like. I was making a batch of candied Jalapenos and spotted my bag of cranberries and a new thought began to surface!

First I googled to see if I could find a cranberry Jalapeno Jam but primarily I found ones made with juice, and I wanted the whole berry texture. I only had liquid pectin, so I adapted the Jalapeno Jam to include less Jalapenos and added cranberries. Since cranberries should be water bath canned for 15 minutes, I increased my waterbath time to 15 minutes instead of the 10 minutes that is commonly used for processing jelly.

Let me tell you. Divine. More then divine. My daughter took the spoon and I didn’t see her for ten minutes. She is eyeballing the jar trying to figure out how to disappear with it!

I wanted my cranberries chunky but not whole, so I poured the rinsed bag of cranberries into the blender and added one cup of white vinegar. I pulsed these until they were a chunky texture. You could use a food processor or chop these, just happened that the blender was right there! One bag equaled about 5 cups of cranberries.

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Chopped them all up so they could blend well with the vinegar. I could have chopped the peppers here too, but did not think about that until later. I was excited. I live on the wild side.

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Then I chopped four peppers. The jalapeno recipe on my pectin box calls for 12 jalapenos and 2 cups vinegar, so I am quite sure that the one cup of vinegar will cover my four peppers.

I removed the seeds because I wanted this to have a bite, not be completely burning hot! You could leave them in for more heat thought. IMG_20131117_091252_603

 I combined the cranberries, vinegar and peppers together. Then simmered this for ten minutes (Time recommended to simmer cranberries in syrup by NCHFP).

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I then added 5 cups of sugar. The interesting thing is the Jalapeno recipe called for 6 cups, but apparently it didn’t make a difference with setting up. Maybe this is because the sugar in the cranberries? I also added 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp cloves. I really did not taste these in the final project though.  I brought this to a boil and boiled for one full minute.

I then added the liquid pectin and boiled hard for one more minute.

This did not create any foam. It went right into the jars easy as could be! I capped and water bath canned for 15 minutes.

Then, I licked the pan clean! Delicious!

Cranberry Jalapeno Jam

1 12 ounce bag cranberries (about 5 cups)

4 jalapenos, seeded and diced

1 cup vinegar

5 cups sugar

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1/2 tsp cloves (optional)

1 packet liquid pectin

Combine cranberries and vinegar. Pulse until these are well chopped but still have texture. Combine cranberry vinegar mixture with jalapenos. Place in large stock pot. Simmer for ten minutes. Add sugar, cinnamon and cloves, bring to a hard boil and boil one full minute. Add pectin, stir well and bring to boil. Boil hard one more minute. Place hot jam into hot jars. Remove air bubbles and wipe rims. Cap with lid and ring. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Then, you can thank me. It is that good. Promise!

Salsa Oh Salsa

 

 

 

I am sharing the worlds greatest salsa recipe with you today. Seriously, it is so perfect I will never share another salsa recipe again. Except the peach salsa. And the Mango. And the chipotle… but well… for a regular salsa, this is the best! I can’t take credit for it. If you have been in the canning world for long you likely know about Gardenweb’s harvest page. They have amazing recipes and support there. An amazing epic hero of mine Annie created this recipe and fought to get this recipe tested and approved through her local extension. I heart Annie. I know of zero other facts about her other then she made my world wonderful. I have been making this salsa several years and have not found anything that is remotely near as wonderful.

First important fact. There are very little changes that can be made to this and still have a tested approved recipe. I will list the options at the bottom.

Second important fact. Buy extra jars. Prepare for people to think you are a culinary genius and ask for more.

Third important fact. I don’t know. I was going for something and lost it. It’s 5 am and the baby has me up. Forgive me.

 

First, gather your tomatoes, cilantro, peppers and other ingredients. This takes quite a bit of chopping. I have made it in the food processor before, but I prefer the small diced chunks more then the tiny particles from the food processor. To easily peel your tomatoes, drop into a pot of boiling water for 1 minute, the skins will start to split. Drop your tomatoes into cold water (we fill the kitchen sink with cold water and works great) The skins will peel off. This recipe calls for 8 cups of chopped tomato. You can use any tomato you like, I do a mixture of slicing tomatoes and paste tomatoes because I like the consistency.

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Next, combine all the ingredients into a large pot. In this particular instance I tripled the batch and placed in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil for ten minutes.

Deliciousness in a pot. Yes.

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When this has boiled for ten minutes, you place into pints or half pints, with 1/2 inch head space. wipe rims, cap and process in a BWB for 15 minutes. There is no safe time set for quarts so stick with your pints.

When they have cooled. You will have beauty like no other.

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Amazing Annie’s Salsa

8 cups chopped peeled tomatoes

2 1/2 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 cup chopped green/yellow/red pepper

3-5 jalapenos

6 cloves garlic

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp pepper

1/8 cup salt

1/4 cup cilantro

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup total bottled lime juice, bottled lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

16 ounce tomato paste

16 ounce tomato sauce

*** SOME changes can safely take place ***

You can use any kind of pepper you wish, so long as it does not exceed the 1 1/2 cups

You can reduce onion, pepper or garlic but you can not increase it

You can omit cilantro, but you can not increase it

You can omit tomato sauce

My Tips

I personally have made this a ton of ways. I find that I like a mixture of 2 parts bottled lime juice and 1 part apple cider vinegar. White vinegar does not taste well in this!

Cilantro tends to lose its flavor. I have a mad passionate love affair with cilantro and I tend to drink it straight from the pan when I am cooking it so I put it in anyway, but for a real kick, add it again when you open it.

I use whatever peppers are on sale. In this batch I happened to run into a lot of red and yellow peppers, so you won’t see how vibrant it can look with green. I have given these  away at Christmas and they are gorgeous with all green peppers!