21 September 2008

Canning Tomatoes

Canning tomatoes is something I love to do. When I was a kid I helped my grandmother do this every summer. Tomatoes would be spread out all over the utility room, One side of the sink would be filled with hot water to quickly blanch the tomatoes so the skins would slip off. Then we'd pack them in the jars and put them in the water bath canners. She always had two canners going at the same time. I haven't been able to can tomatoes this year, though I was able to put up a few jars of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes earlier this summer.

So Maria, one of my Italian friends from upstate New York, shared her recipe for Crushed Tomatoes with me. Her Mom developed this method to eliminate the peeling step. Between the tomatoes that came in this week's veggie box, and some that are still surviving in our garden, I was able to put up four quarts of these yesterday. It might not sound like a lot, but I was thrilled. And I know they will be delicious this winter. Not only that, the recipe is one of the easiest I have ever tried. Now Maria normally uses plum tomatoes, but I used what I had on hand. This did include a couple of Romas and some Orange Banana tomatoes.

Maria's Crushed Tomatoes

Sterilise quart jars and keep them hot.

Wash tomatoes, slice in half, and squeeze out seeds. Place tomatoes in food processor and pulse a few times (just enough to break down the tomatoes to your preferred texture).

Into hot sterilised quart jars add:
3 basil leaves to the bottom of the jar, along with 1 Tbsp salt (can you use less salt if desired). Fill jar with crushed tomatoes and top with three more basil leaves, leaving 1/2" headspace.

Wipe the rims of the jars and top with sterile, hot lids and rings. Process in boiling water bath for 20 minutes to seal jars. Store and use as desired.

Notes: Don't use iodised salt as it alters the colour of the food. I use Diamond Crystal Kosher. And I used fresh picked basil from my herb garden.
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Once Upon a Plate said...

Becky, I had all but given up on canning any tomatoes this year but you (and Maria) have saved the day. :) I'm looking at a huge basket of tomatoes that are going to "go" if I don't do something with them immediately.
Guess what I'll be doing today?!
Thank you for passing on this technique.
Both you and Maria will be on my mind when I open the jars this winter. :)

Becky said...

Mary, these were sooooo easy. Hope you got to them today.

papa said...

BECKY! I was unaware that you have a blog!I'm gonna bookmark it so I can read it often! I just happened to rest my cursor on the "random musings" line in a post of yours on CMG and it indicated a link.

I just love fresh garden tomatoes. Unfortunately with our weather this year the crop was horrible,so no extras for anything this year.

My mom used to can tomatoes (amongst othewr things)and make her own tomato juice. She thought she was canning enough for the winter but I usually had the tomatoes and the juice wiped out by January! There is nothing better than home canned!

Becky said...

Hey Papa! So glad you found my blog. With everything that was going on healthwise this year I wasn't able to keep up the raised beds. I was astonished to get up to the farm this weekend and find the tomatoes have picked back up even through the weeds. They are blooming and making more tomatoes. Then this morning we gathered about three plastic shopping bags full of various peppers. Amazing!

Do you have any of your Mom's canning recipes? I'd love to see them if you feel like sharing. This year I know I won't have enough tomatoes to last through winter, but at least there will be some. I will space them out! :-)

papa said...

I don't have mom's canning recipes,she was one of those ladies that just "knew" what to do and rarely followed a receipe except for new stuff she wanted to try! I do have her old receipe box and I will have to go thru it and see what is there but she cooked like I do..."this sounds like it would be good together!"

Becky said...

Papa, once you get a chance to look through her recipe box, I would love ot see some of your Mom's recipes. What a treasure you have!