Caramelized Pineapple-Habanero Salsa

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Preserving Method: Water Bath Canning

  1. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready to use, do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set aside with bands.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut each pineapple quarter crosswise into 1-inch slices. Place slices in a single layer on 2 baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with 1⁄4 cup sugar.
  3. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Turn slices over, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until beginning to caramelize. Remove from oven; cool.
  4. Coarsely chop pineapple slices to measure 6 1⁄2 cups. Combine pineapple, onion, and next 2 ingredients in a large stainless steel or enameled saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro, salt, and remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar.
  5. Transfer half of pineapple mixture to a food processor; process until chopped. (Do not puree.) Return chopped mixture to coarsely chopped pineapple mixture remaining in pan. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.
  6. Ladle hot salsa into a hot jar, leaving 1⁄2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band, and adjust to fingertip-tight. Place jar in boiling-water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  7. Process jars 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat; remove lid, and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when center is pressed.
  8. Recipe excerpted from The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving, published by Oxmoor House (2016)

Tricks of the Trade:
Be sure to wear gloves when seeding the peppers, and do not touch your face or eyes, to avoid burning.