Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Canning Pureed Tomatoes for Pizza Sauces and Soups


"Ma and Laura picked the tomatoes…
There were enough ripe tomatoes to make almost a gallon of preserves."
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Long Winter

One of my favorite things to can is tomatoes. They are so useful! This is the way I prepare tomatoes for an easier pizza sauce. Many recipes have you boiling down the tomatoes for eternity (I just boil down right before I use, see recipe below) and seeding the tomatoes by pressing through a sieve or food mill. I skip both steps (a rebel for sure). What's so bad about the seeds anyway? We eat them all the time in our salads. 

Note: For more details on canning procedures themselves, visit the links on the bottom of this post.


Wash your tomatoes. Roma are the best for sauces because there is more "flesh" but in the end, any kind of home grown tomato is tastier than what you will get in the store. 


Now, score the bottom of your tomatoes with a knife. Basically, carve an "x" at the bottom of each one. This will allow the peels to slip off easily once you submerge them in some boiling water.


Next, submerge your tomatoes in boiling water for about 30 - 45 seconds (no more than a minute). Follow up by dunking them in an ice water bath. 


While they are chilling, begin removing the skins. When that is complete, core all the tomatoes and begin to puree them in batches in your blender. Pour all of the pureed tomatoes into a large stainless steel stockpot. Do not use aluminum as a horrible reaction will occur because of the acidity of the tomatoes. It actually leaches from the aluminum. Now, bring the tomatoes to a boil.


While you are waiting on the tomatoes, add 1 TBSP lemon juice, 1 TSP sugar and 1/2 TSP fine sea salt to each of the sterilized canning jars. Ladle the hot, tomato puree into each jar and leave 1/4 inch head space. Wipe each rim and place your sterilized caps and lids onto each jar. Process in boiling water bath for 45 minutes. 

Note: I also can this in the taboo, half gallon jars. The trick is having a pot tall enough to cover them by two inches for the boiling water bath. I add 2 TBSP lemon juice, 2 TSP sugar and 1 TSP fine seal salt into each jar (leaving 1 inch head space). Process for 1 hour in boiling water bath. The reason I am comfortable with canning in the half gallon jars is that all my tomato products get boiled again before we actually consume them (like when they simmer for the sauce or stews).


To Make Pizza Sauce: Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan and saute some finely chopped onions (I usually do one onion per quart of tomatoes). Cook a few minutes and add some freshly minced garlic (I usually do about 4 cloves per quart of tomatoes).  When onions are soft, add a quart of your canned pureed tomatoes to the onion/garlic mixture. Let this all simmer together for about 20-30 minutes or until most of the water has cooked out and you have the desired consistency for a sauce. Next, add a few shakes of Italian seasoning and sugar or honey (I usually do 1 TBSP sweetener per quart of tomatoes). Simmer five more minutes to let flavors blend. Be sure to let the sauce cool before spreading on pizza dough. This is so tasty and rewarding to know that you provided for your own meal! Visit here for a healthier homemade pizza dough recipe.

Variation: Saute in more vegetables such as bell peppers and carrots along with the onions. When the mixture is cooked, place in blender and puree for that "Ragoo" style, smooth sauce that children love.

Note: These pureed tomatoes are also excellent to add to autumn soups and winter stews for a tomato based flavor.




17 comments:

  1. I just love your blog-the step by step photos are wonderful. I have always tried my best to remove the seeds as much as possible because I think they can get under the lid and prevent a good seal. Though it hasn't happened often, its annoying when it does, lol.
    Kim

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    1. Hi Kim :)

      I actually have no trouble with the tomato jars sealing… (Maybe because I wipe the rim first?) But I must agree, it is a bummer when they don't seal. I usually will place whatever it is in a freezer container and pop it in the freezer for the future.

      Thanks for your kind comment and have a wonderful week! ~ JES

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  2. I canned so many tomatoes last year - and loved every minute of it. But this year, it's been too hot and dry and all my tomato plants have died. It's a good thing I have lots left over from last year. The Lord is good. :)
    Love to you, my friend!
    ~Lisa

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    1. I agree and thanks for the love :) We all need that!! ~JES

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  3. Yeah...found it, if I would have only been reading as you posted, summer sure got away from me!

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    1. Good for you!! I am glad it did~ I wasn't around much either… You could probably replace the sugar with honey in this recipe too!

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    2. So glad I found your tomato puree post! I not only don't remove seeds, but don't peel either. I simply wash, core and cut out any bad spots, and then liquefy in my Vita-Mix, then bring to boil in a large pot, add salt and lemon juice to jars, and then process. Can't identify any skin in the final product at all. My question to you is this: Where do you get the 45 min. process time for quarts? I've used that time too, but now find in our extension canning instruction a 90 min. time for all tomato (no water) quarts. Also, how much time for the half gallon jars? I love half gallon jars and pick up used ones at thrift stores when ever I find them. I also have a very large rectangular water bath canner which fits over two stove top burners, it holds 15 quart jars at a time, and I think it's tall enough for the half gallons. My 17 yr old daughter and I love everything about your Strangers and Pilgrim sight! Thanks!

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    3. Hi there! Funny but last week I came to the same conclusion… to NOT peel! I was just telling my husband :) and he agreed wholeheartedly since he often helps when the bounty is out of control. I would do exactly as you mentioned above except I would use a blender as I don't have a vita-mix. I got the 45 minute time for quarts in my "Ball Blue Book" 1988 volume on page 23 for tomato juice. The difference is how they prepare the tomato juice such as simmer them and press through sieve, etc. However, their final product is all tomato and they used 45 minutes for quarts (they don't even bring their final product to a boil but I do). And, with the addition of the lemon juice, I feel quite secure with this procedure. I process the half gallon jars for 1 hour (however, you won't find a recipe in ball using those wonderful jars!!!) and feel safe for the reasons mentioned earlier and because it has worked for 15 years for me :) I am drooling at your large rectangular canner!!! If it can fit those half-gallon jars, your canning will go by FAST! Also, all my tomato puree recipes get simmered down into sauces and boiled in soups which gives it that much more safeness. Thanks for the kind words :) It is nice to know that someone is reading this stuff :) Let me know if you have any further questions, comments or ideas!

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    4. Also, for the half gallon jars, make sure to add 2 TBSP lemon juice, 2 TSP sugar and 1 TSP fine seal salt into each jar (leaving 1 inch head space)….

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  4. How much tomatoes - by weight - should be used for this? Is there any water put into the puree?

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    1. You could do as many tomatoes as you want... And no water in the puree... Hope it turns out well :)

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    2. Thank you so much! Also, would it be safe to puree the onion and pepper into the tomatoes before canning the whole thing?
      My Dad really would like me to do that for ease of preparation for soups/sauces/etc.
      I am slightly unsure of the safety, so would like to see what you say.
      Thank you in advance.
      L

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    3. Hi L,
      I wouldn't do that because those are low in acid vegetables and my recipe does not account for that. You may be able to find a can-able spaghetti sauce recipe online that would suit you. Unfortunately, I don't have one posted like that {yet}... Perhaps this one from a fellow blogger would suit you:

      http://oursimplelife-sc.com/spaghetti-sauce-canning-recipe/

      Have a wonderful week!

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  5. Thank you for all the help and the technique you showed in this post. I used the commenter's method of vita-mixing with skins & all and even with some wait times due to the jars cooking, still got things done before 3 o'clock.

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    1. Excellent!!! Thank you for sharing the final results! :)

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  6. Hi I just stumbled onto your site and I LOVE it!!!!!! I find it so helpful. Thank-you so much for sharing. The lemon juice you use in your canning the tomatoes, is that fresh squeezed or can one use the bottled kind like from the health food store??

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    1. Thank you! Canning rules state to use the purchased//bottled lemon juice. I often use fresh squeezed since we live near a lemon orchard but this is not suggested in canning books because acid levels are unknown. Hope this helps!

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