Never Look a Gift Fruit in the Pit
Who goes to a whiskey distillery tasting and walks away with a ripe mango? I did. That would be me. Schraver has been working with a local distillery here in WV and we stopped by so I could try some of their excellent libations (seriously, I’m not even a big fan of whiskey but the guys at Devil’s Due are making some amazing stuff).
They have a new line of mango whiskey in production and after they had taken some promo pictures I was all to happy to walk away with a few mangos. They were just about ripe and another day or two they would have been past their prime so I started researching in my books and on the web for a good mango salsa recipe. I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for so I put a couple recipes together and made something up.
As with all things use your own judgement when it comes to using canning recipes found on the web. The changes I made to the original recipe follow basic canning rules, i.e. tomatoes themselves are water bath approved so no worries there, red onion instead of yellow was more of a flavor preference. Lastly, I substituted home grown hot peppers for the red pepper and chili flakes. The approved basic recipe can be found on the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s Website here.
Schraver has been requesting a spicier salsa for the pantry shelves so I really kicked up the heat factor in this recipe with two fresh habaneros, a santa fe grande chili and several jalapenos. It may seem like alot, but I have found that somewhere in the canning process that heat becomes muted. If your looking for something with a good kick at the end, start off hotter than you think you’ll need in the cooking pan.
You can use the recipe suggestion of red pepper flakes but if you like to live on the wild side and have some hot peppers handy I recommend doing some experimenting (what’s life without a little danger?).
This ended up a great mix of sweet fruity salsa up front and a slow burn of spicy heat at the end. I sent several jars back as a thank you the distillery and it received rave reviews.
Selecting and Cutting Mangos
You want to select unripe/just ripening mangos. They should be firm and free from bruising. Mangos are one of those fruits that I struggle to cut efficiently but a couple of YouTube videos later and I have some excellent tips.
First tip is to learn to recognize which way your pit runs. Mangos have a long thinnish pit that runs through the center of the fruit and figuring out which way it lays is the key. Look carefully at your mango and figure out which side is the widest, you then want to turn it 90 degrees and cut the fruit into thirds.
This will leave you with two ‘cheeks’ of fruit and a middle section containing the pit. If your like me I run my knife around the pit to get all of the mango possible (no point wasting good fruit!).
When it comes to the ‘cheeks” I make a grid pattern and flip it inside out, the chunks are then easily removed from the skin with a pairing knife.
(Makes 7-8 half pints)
3-4 Large Just Ripening Mangos
1/2 C Minced Red Onion
Hot Peppers (I used 2 whole Habeneros, 2 Jalepenos, 1 Santa Fe Grande Chili)
1/4 C Chopped Cilantro
2 Medium Cloves Garlic
2″ Piece Fresh Ginger
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 C Tomato Paste
1 Pint (2 cups) Crushed Tomatoes
Salt to Taste
I place clean half pint jars in a large stock pot and fill with water to just above the jar rims. Set onto medium high heat and allow to heat up while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Mise En Place
Finely dice the red onion and the hot pepper if using. Peel the garlic and fresh ginger and mince or use a microplaner to grate.
Cut your mango into medium size chunks (see tips above).
Place everything all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil for ten minutes.
For a very chunky salsa leave as is and move onto placing in the glass jars.
If you want a smoother consistency use a stick blender to puree as desired.
Remove the hot jars from the water bath and place onto a cloth covered chopping board.
Using a canning funnel ladle the hot salsa into each jar leaving about a 1/2 inch of head space. Wipe the rim of each jar with white vinegar.
Center a clean new lid on top and screw the ring band on to fingertip tight.
Place each full jar carefully back into the water bath and ensure the water covers the jars by at least 2 inches.
Turn heat to high and allow to come to a boil. Once boiling start a 15 minute timer. When the time is done remove the jars back onto the cloth covered board and allow to cool completely.
Once completely cool (this can take up to 24 hours) test the seal by pressing on the top of the lid. If it doesn’t flex you have successfully canned your salsa! Store in a cool dark place for up to a year and Enjoy!