can I ask a canning question here? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-07-2011, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This may be the wrong place for this - Please redirect me if it is...but I altered a well tested peach salsa recipe (for water bath canning) taking out 1/4 cup of green pepper and 2 Tblsp honey, but adding about 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, a splash of brandi, and lots of extra lemon rind and bottled lemon juice. The peaches were under ripe so I cooked them for quite a while. It turned out to be more of a relish actually...my thinking was that since I was adding plenty of acid I couldn't really go wrong.

 

It tasted great as I was putting it in the jars - but now in retrospect I am wondering if the changes I made could compromise the safety of the recipe (and anyone who eats my salsa!!). Does anyone know a lot about canning?

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Old 08-07-2011, 04:46 PM
 
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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My understanding of canning (and potentially hazardous foods in general) is that things most often go wrong when the acidity is too low - modern tomatoes are not as acidic as older varieties, not adding lemon, etc.  Since you added acid to an already proven recipe, I would say you're fine.  I'm no expert, though.


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Old 08-09-2011, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariesMama View Post

My understanding of canning (and potentially hazardous foods in general) is that things most often go wrong when the acidity is too low - modern tomatoes are not as acidic as older varieties, not adding lemon, etc.  Since you added acid to an already proven recipe, I would say you're fine.  I'm no expert, though.


Thanks - I wish I knew an expert that I could ask, but I don't really know anyone that cans!! My understanding about the acid was just as you said. I still have the jars in the cabinet and DH says he will take his chances, so I am going to keep it but not give any away at this point:)
 

 

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Old 08-09-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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My understanding is that is if there is too much acid, it will result in more liquid loss during the process, making anything with gels, like jelly, problematic once canned. I don't think it will alter the safety of your food, however, unless the acid content is extremely high and you have minor imperfections in the inside of your can-- such as scratches-- in which case, sometimes the metal lid can form black or brown deposits, where it corrodes. In most cases though, especially how you describe it, increased acidity would probably only increase the safety of the final product.

 

Also, any higher-acid foods should be done with the water-bath method, as opposed to the pressure canning method, that is better with low-acid food.

 

There are some good canning site suggestions found here that you should check out: http://www.off-grid.net/2011/07/29/can-do/

 

Hope this helps!

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Old 08-10-2011, 08:38 AM
 
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It would be more reassuring if you could have ph tested it first, but it sounds fine. Peppers actually raise the ph though honey is very acid. Extra vinegar and lemon juice can't hurt it's safety.

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Old 10-08-2011, 03:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post

It would be more reassuring if you could have ph tested it first, but it sounds fine. Peppers actually raise the ph though honey is very acid. Extra vinegar and lemon juice can't hurt it's safety.



But she left out the peppers.  It sounds like pretty much everything in there would be safe to water bath (tomatoes, peaches, lemon juice, vinegar, brandy).  I don't see any reason for concern -- of course, since you didn't provide the recipe it's hard to be certain.

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Old 10-08-2011, 06:50 PM
 
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I think it would be ok. You could probably take some to the cooperative extension and have it tested. 


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Old 12-27-2011, 03:19 AM
 
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Um, if it was only less than half a cup of ingredients (and your recipe made more than a few pints, and you added extra acidity, you should be fine.  If you're worried, when you crack open a jar, test the pH level.  Plus peaches have a nice amount of citric acid on their own anyway, so yeah.


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