Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Preserving Tomato Sauce

In my last post, I talked about some lessons learned related to growing tomatoes.  But, I think I left out the biggest lesson learned:  grow plum tomatoes!

Plum tomatoes are used in so many recipes that it is easy to find ways to use them up.  Not to mention that I spent quite a while trying to figure out where to buy a bushel of plum tomatoes, including contacting local farmers, Loblaws and Farmboy. Some of the prices are a bit hard to take, knowing that Giz is able to find a bushel for $20 in Toronto. In the end, I went with the 1/2 bushels sold at Parkdale market for $15.

On our first tomato day, Ron (whom I've mentioned before, here) set out to can tomato sauce.  We started by washing and coring the tomatoes.

Next, we scored the tomatoes by making an "X" shape at one end of the tomatoes and blanched the tomatoes to peel them.

We had enough to make a double recipe of this tomato sauce:

Seasoned Tomato Sauce

12 cups chopped ripe plum tomatoes (about 6 lb/3kg), unpeeled
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp red wine vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 tsp pickling salt

1. Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, sugar, pepper and bay leaves in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1.25 hours of until very thick (note: you can determine your preferred level of thickness).

Press through a food mill or coarse sieve; remove and discard seeds and skins.  (Note: I didn't do this because I wanted a diced tomato texture and had already removed the skins via blanching).   Add vinegar and salt to pulp.    

2. Prepare jars in water canner (I let my jars sit in a rolling boil for about 20 minutes).  Remove hot jars from canner and ladle sauce into jars to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of rim (headspace).  After reading about tomato sauce separating here, I was careful about only removing jars one at a time and then replacing the filled jar to the water canner while filling the remaining jars.  Process for 35 minutes for half-pints (250mL) and pint (500 mL) jars.

Makes about 7 cups (1.75 L).  I got about 6- one litre jars from a double recipe.

Note: the above picture was taken the day after I canned the sauce.  When the jars have cooled and the lids have sealed, I removed the rings.

Since making these 6 litres, I made another double recipe with a separate half bushel.  Then, I went to a friend's place and showed her how to make tomato sauce.

I made the tomato sauce in September and I've since used a couple of jars. The flavour is great and it is quite a treat to have sauce on hand that is home-made.  Next year, I plan to make more so that I don't have to eat it sparingly to ensure that it lasts the winter.


Torviewtoronto said...

delicious looking sauce :)

That Girl said...

When I ever grow tomatoes again I will remember to grow plum tomatoes.

Bunny said...

My husband and I are starting a garden this spring with the intent of canning the veggies. Im soooooo looking forward to the experience! Thanks for this post!

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