With the bounty of tomatoes from my garden and those of our families I have been looking into canning. I have already canned tomatoes in their own juice, but I realized that we go through quite a few cans of tomato sauce each month making pizza and spaghetti and a few other dishes. I decided that the most productive thing I could do with the tomatoes I have around would be to make them into sauce.
I started with these.
Since I don’t have a food mill I thought I would try the juicer. I was pleasantly surprised with how well it handled the task. I washed the tomatoes and cut out the stems and dark spots. I quartered the tomatoes and ran them through the juicer, skins and all, with the juice plate in. The next time I do this I will at least partially de-seed the tomatoes before running them through the juicer. I think that will help the mixture be a little thicker.
The pulp was pretty dry and was mostly skins and seeds. Some seeds did make it into the juice mix. Next time I will strain the juice after this step. After it’s juiced and strained, pour the liquid into a large saucepan.
Cook at a simmer for several hours until the liquid is reduced to a saucy texture. This step is variable and all depends on what texture you like.
Mine reduced from the top of the pan to within a few inches of the bottom. You can see the thicker texture here.
Once your sauce is ready, get the canner setup. I fill mine about 2/3 full with water and put the clean jars in to sterilize as the water heats up. Sterilize the lids in a separate pot of water.
Put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in pints, 2 tablespoons in quarts. I did 1 tablespoon for my half pints. Fill the hot jars with sauce leaving 1/2 inch of headroom. Wipe off rims with a damp clean cloth, and tighten bands finger tight. Process pints in boiling water canner for 35 minutes, quarts for 40 (time starts once water is at a rolling boil). I processed my half pints for 35 minutes.
I choose half pints because they are closest in size to what I use for pizza sauce. Choose bigger sizes if they make sense for you.
The amount of tomatoes in the top picture made three half pints.
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