Widgets Magazine

Sep 12, 2014

Guest Blog: Making Tomato Sauce by Bossy

Normally when I can't remember how to can things I can go to the blog and read the directions. In fact I agreed to guest post this blog because I wanted  to go back and link to all the old canning recipes. I usually post a picture of our canning totals on Facebook and someone always asks how to do it. This is the easiest way for me to help teach. Click the links to read on canning pears, green beans, apricot jam, Green enchilada sauce, and applesauce. I swear we have peaches, beets, and strawberry jam somewhere too. When we do whole tomatoes I will try to remember to blog it too. Lastly, my friend Emily is always asking for our salsa recipe. We don't can salsa and it is so hard to get a recipe out of Dad, but here is apricot salsa.

Last week when I brought over 3 buckets of tomatoes I thought I could get started before Mom got home and have it well on the way. Unfortunately there was a problem. I wasn't sure if we had to cook the tomatoes before running them through our strainer. I tried to think back to the last time we had enough tomatoes to process sauce and I realized it was before the blog started. So I waited impatiently for Mom to get home. Starting tomato sauce at 10:00 pm is a really bad idea. By the time we got things thick enough to process, the sauce had boiled for close to 10 hours.

Canning Tomato Sauce

To do this you will need a large stock pot (or two), a Victorino grinder (or similar grinder), tomatoes, lemon juice, strong arms, and patience. Sauce tastes better when you use a variety of tomatoes. We love the meaty Roma tomatoes, but they make very acidic sauce. The varieties we plant and used are Roma II, Early Girl, Celebrity, and Beef Master. Because we were making sauce, we picked slightly under-ripe tomatoes. These are the same color as those in the store, as well as vine ripe rich red tomatoes. If the kids accidentally knocked off a slightly green tomato we threw that in too.

First remove all stems and wash tomatoes. We filled the sink and swooshed them around a bit. If your tomatoes are extra muddy, be sure to change the water when it gets murky.

In a large stock pot put in a cup of water. This is water you will need to boil out later so just enough to go in the bottom of your pan to keep the tomatoes from burning. (Some websites suggest you can use a potato masher to juice the bottom layer instead of adding water.) Remove any yucky spots (blossom rot, cage marks, snail holes) while slicing tomatoes and adding to pan. For regular round tomatoes we usually quarter them because they are so juicy they easily grind. Meatier Roma tomatoes need to be cut into wedges small enough to fit into your grinder. They will not cook down as well. 

Bring tomatoes to a boil and stir to prevent burning. As they cook down keep adding tomatoes until your pan is 3/4 full or you are out of tomatoes. Cook tomatoes for 10-20 minutes until they are soft and juicy. This time depends on how many tomatoes you keep adding to your pot and the ripeness of your tomatoes.

Process hot tomatoes through your grinder. We usually point our splash guard straight down for tomatoes because they like to spray and there is nothing worse than being hit with boiling tomato juice. Remember to scrape the screen frequently. We run the waste from our grinder a second time with tomato sauce. Unfortunately after running the waste again you may need to take apart the grinder and clean it out since tomatoes tend to get stuck. We had to clean out three times processing our three 20-qt. stockpots full, once between each pan.

At this point you could process this as tomato juice. We were making sauce, so the juice went back into the stock pot to simmer for hours and hours, until the extra water is cooked off. We had to fill both stockpots up to the top, and this added significant time to reduce our sauce. This could be lessened by simmering smaller batches.

You want your sauce to be slightly thicker than you need it because each quart gets a 1/4 c of lemon juice added to it as well as a tsp of salt. 

As with most canning, put in your lemon juice, salt, then fill the jars to within half an inch of the top. Wipe the rims clean. Place your lids in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then put them on your jars and tighten rings. Process in a pressure cooker at 13 lbs pressure (in Utah) or you can water bath them for 90 minutes if you don't have a pressure cooker.

When jars are completely cool, remove rings and rinse jars, then put them in storage until you are ready to use them.


Anonymous said...

My goodness sakes this is a labor of love, but bet these taste really yummee come fall then winter then spring...I used to can fresh veggies, no more just my hubs and I but the difference in taste is amazing..I suppose if I could get my hands on fresh matoes as I call them I would indeed can, but I freeze berries like a madwoman, and I make my own salsa as I hate the commercial kind..We have salsa at most meals, I cook everyday and we eat well, lots of veggies and fruits and little red meat if at all, chicken, fish (Salmon) we live near an ocean and many rivers in which we can purchase fresh fish from native americans needing provisions (money) for their tribes..Since it rains most of the year here we enjoy our salsa and berries and fish I have frozen..You live where it is dry and not much moisture, so crops grow probably most of the year..I think you are delightful and wonderful as a daughter in your family, what a jewel canning and helping your wonderful Mother and Father and siblings, have a most wonderful weekend and God's Blessings all year thru!

LeAnn said...

Thanks for your tutorial on making Tomato sauce. Your Mother has taught you well. Thanks for sharing the other links also.
I haven't canned for a very long time; but I remember how good it felt to look at the finished product.

Greg and Diana said...

I can't wait to start canning next season! There is so much to learn, but the rewards seem amazing!


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