Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Canning Basic Tomato Sauce


I understand that plum tomatoes make for better sauce, more bang for your buck... but I had mountains of globe tomatoes and decided to make sauce out of some of them... We use tomato sauce in a myriad of recipes, so rather than add any spices for spaghetti, pizza, or chili... I did a couple batches of basic tomato sauce and will spice them up as I use them.

Here's what I did...


I cored and cut my tomatoes into eighths and put them in a large saucepan, squished a few in the bottom first with my potato masher to start the juices flowing and to help prevent sticking. I brought the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduced the heat and boiled gently for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep them from sticking and scorching.


Then working in small batches, I pressed the tomatoes through my food mill... later I realized I have a strainer attachment to my KitchenAid mixer and finished up using it (forehead slap! why didn't I use it sooner? so much time saved!)

I set the pulpy mass of skins and seeds aside and poured the juice into my crockpot for the first batch (I had to go to work and didn't have time to let the juice cook down on the stove top). I set the crockpot on low and put the lid on loosely cracked and went to work... it took about 24-36 hours for the juice to cook down in the crockpot... the second batch I did on the stove top on medium-high heat and it only took about 2 hours. I stirred it occasionally to keep it from sticking.



I cooked down the juice until it was reduced by half and thickened to the consistency of a thin sauce.


I prepared my jars and lids by simmering them in hot water and keeping them hot until I was ready to use them.


I filled each hot pint jar with the sauce, then added a tablespoon of lemon juice and a half teaspoon of canning salt (salt is optional).

I wiped the jar rims with a damp cloth, then tightened the lids on to fingertip tightness.

Then I processed the sauce in a boiling water bath, ensuring the jars were completely covered with water, bringing it to a boil over high heat, then reducing the heat to medium and processing them for 35 minutes in the boiling water bath (quarts would be processed for 50 minutes).

After processing, I removed the jars from the canner using my jar lifter and set them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool... and to listen for the PING of each successfully sealed jar. Yum!


With all that pulp and skins left over... I didn't want to just throw it on the compost pile... so...


...I spread it out in my dehydrator and dried it... in about 24 hours I had a mass of crunchy tomato goodness... ran it through the blender until I had... Tomato Powder! I will be adding this to soups and stews later for some additional thickness and flavor.

21 comments:

  1. I am new to canning, Do I need to really process the basic tomato for that long? What if I wanted to use 1/2 pint jars or pint jars for my sauce, would the timing be different?

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    Replies
    1. These were pints... half pint time would be the same. ~~Granny

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  2. The sauce looks wonderful, and I'd never considered drying the leftover pulp and skins. Thanks for the Tomato Powder idea. :) Will definitely try that. But without a dehydrator, can this be done in the oven on low heat?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Lisa, I'm sure you could dehydrate the tomato pulp in the oven. ~~Granny

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  3. Great idea to use the leftover skins. This year for the first time, as advised on another blog somewhere, I just cooked down the tomatoes and then processed them, skins and all, in my blender. Gorgeous sauce resulted and it contains the fiber and nutrition of the skins, but you can't tell they are in there.

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    Replies
    1. I like the idea of using the entire tomato...did you do everything else the same?

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    2. Yes, Stella, everything else would be done the same. ~~Granny

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  4. Our farmer's market, they have a real farm, puts seconds on a back table and sells them by the 1/4 and 1/2 bushel, at very low prices. We need to spend a little extra time on prepping them.

    As we don't use the lemon juice (acid) we pressure can. Don't remember the times, but the FDA canning guide has instructions for vegetable stew and we just follow them.

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  5. I just posted the "easy" way that I make and can tomato sauce on a tomato site. You have to join to view it, but it is really easy in that there is no cooking down time, only ten minutes to get out any air from going through the strainer so the sauce is fresh tasting and it is soooo thick. I will post the link so you can take a look if you'd like.
    http://tomatodepot.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=dishes&action=display&thread=2570

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  6. Ohhhh Man thinking of all the wasted Veggie Powder I could have had! makes me sick LOL My family would have NEVER known! Thanks for the idea though soooo going to do that from now on!

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  7. Does the lemon juice affect the flavor of the sauce?

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  8. I am new to canning, how long is the shelf life to the canned tomato sauce?

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  9. I love the idea of the tomato powder! All those skins I have thrown away... :(
    I do wonder why you add the lemon powder. I saw that someone said because of the acid but tomatoes should have enough acid not to need more. Just curious!

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    Replies
    1. I added the lemon juice because it called for it in the recipe I used... also with many of today's varieties of tomatoes being less acidic than in the past, it's recommended to add a little lemon juice to make it more safe for water bath canning. ~~Granny

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    2. i understand that the lemon juice is recommended for safe canning. But does anyone notice that it affects the flavor at all?

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    3. I've not really noticed a difference in taste at all. ~~Granny

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  10. Tomato powder is a great idea! I will have to do that next time.

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  11. I just water bathed my tomato sauce but forgot the lemon juice. Should I redo it or should it be fine?

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    Replies
    1. Officially, I should tell you to redo it, just to be sure... but personally, I think tomatoes are acidic enough on their own to be just fine. ~~Granny

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