Peach salsa is one of the first things I can each fall. It signals the beginning of canning season for me with lots of apple sauce, pie fillings, tomatoes, and more to soon follow. Autumn is a season of harvesting and preparing for winter, and I love everything about it. My house smells amazing from now until late October, and my downstairs shelves turn all the colors of the rainbow as pretty mason jars with all sorts of goodies inside fill up the space.
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At our first house I had a peach tree and that little thing worked. It produced more peaches than I knew what to do with. Usually friends and family left my house with bags of them as the season progressed. I didn’t want one peach to go bad!
I attempted a peach/mango salsa once, but it wasn’t my jam. Just peaches for me. Keep it nice and simple.
Water bath canning vs. pressure canning
First off, let’s talk about when to use a water bath canner, and when you need a pressure canner. A pressure canner is used for low-acid foods, which need a higher temperature than what a water bath canner can provide. Low acidic foods are usually vegetables and red meat. For peach salsa, we’ll be using the water bath canner. Along with the canner you’ll need a canning essentials set.
This is a recipe I adapted from Cindy over at the blog Skip to my Lou. I really wanted the peaches to shine and didn’t want to bog down the flavor with too many spices. Make it hot, keep it sweet, and I’m down.
Canned Peach Salsa Recipe
- 7 cups peeled, pitted and chopped peaches (about 15 peaches)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 4 jalapeno peppers finely chopped (remove seeds and ribs)
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 small box fruit pectin crystals (49gram)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 6 pint canning jars
- 6 Wide mouth lids and bands
Step 1: remove peach skins
To do this get an assembly line going. You’ll need a pot of boiling water, a bowl of ice water, and a large saucepan set on low on the back burner.
Carefully drop rinsed peaches, a few at a time, into the boiling water and leave them there until you see the skin crack. This usually takes around 20 seconds or so. I stir the peaches a bit so they all get immersed evenly. Once the skin cracks immediately remove and place in ice water bath. I do this in batches of about 3-5 peaches, depending on size. Once in the ice water take each peach and “slide” the skin off. When this is done I split the peach with a knife, remove the pit, slice into four pieces and throw in the saucepan set on low. After every five peaches or so take a masher and mash down the saucepan of cut peaches. Do this until all peaches are skinned.
Step 2: Add it all together
In large saucepan, combine peaches, onion, pepper, cilantro, garlic, cumin, vinegar, and lime zest. I then took an immersion blender (you can use a regular blender, but you’ll have to do it before your salsa heats up or it will explode out of the blender!) and blended until the salsa is to your liking. If you want to skip this step then just make sure to cut your peaches and other ingredients small enough in the beginning and just know you’ll have a more chunky peach salsa.
Once done blending, mix pectin with 1/4 sugar and add to your peach mixture. Bring to a boil and then add remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar. At this point I let my salsa simmer on the stove for a couple of hours. I wanted it to be on the thicker side. You can skip this step though depending on how you like your salsa and how ripe your peaches are.
Step 3: Get your jars, lids, and water bath canner ready
While the peach salsa is simmering down go ahead and wash your jars with hot, soapy water. I usually run mine through the dishwasher by themselves to make sure they are clean and hot when I go to place the salsa in them. NEVER place hot salsa in a cold jar. You risk it exploding due to the drastic change in temperature. Also you want the jars and contents as hot as possible when submerging into the water bath canner.
While jars are getting clean go ahead and fill up the water bath canner so that when you place the jars in it there is an inch of water over the tops of the jars. You can take a wild guess with this and always add more water at the time of canning if necessary. Always error on the side of more water vs. less. Turn on high and let the water get to a roiling boil. Turn down just a tad before adding the jars so you don’t get hot water spatter on yourself when placing the jars inside.
In a small saucepan place the lids in simmering water. You do this so the rubber seal along the sides adheres to the glass wall of the jars.
Step 4: Fill up jars and place in canner
Remove hot jars from dishwasher (it’s okay if they aren’t super hot. Warm will work too.) and pour peach salsa into prepared pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch air space. Wipe rim and threads of jar with a clean damp cloth.
Place lid and rings on jars and tighten. Place jars in large pot and cover with water one to two inches over jars. Boil for 15 minutes.
Carefully remove jars and place away from drafts on a counter with a towel placed down under them and one over them. Leave for 12-24 hours without disturbing.
After 12+ hours go ahead and check to make sure all jars sealed. Press on center of lid. It should be firm, pulled down and not flex. Remove bands at this point so they don’t rust into place or give the false impression of a seal. Never reuse lids to can with again as the seals are compromised after canning. Bands can be reused as long as there is no presence of rust.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor
That’s it! Enjoy the delicious peach salsa you worked so hard on! You might also like to can a few smaller jars of salsa to give to friends as gifts this winter. People will be blown away with your canning skills and epic salsa.
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