Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Canned Stewed Tomatoes

The tomatoes are ripening fast and furious now -- faster than we can eat them, so it's canning time! I got nearly two quarts from the red ones that were ripe.

Might have enough yellow ones to separately can a quart of those, but it's probably safer to wait another couple of days for three or four more to ripen. We only have one plant that produces yellow tomatoes, and I really hate canning partial jars. Mostly, we have quart size jars, and not many of the pint and half pint size ones.

It's simple to can your own tomatoes:

  1. sterilize your mason jars
  2. cut a cross in the bottom of each tomato, and blanch them until the skin splits, then submerge them in cold water until they're cool enough to handle (you may have to do this in batches)
  3. peel the skin, and get out as many clumps of seeds as you can without being too obsessive about it
  4. cut or tear up the tomatoes, removing the part around the stem end, and stew them on low for however long you want, but I find 10-15 minutes is sufficient for canning
  5. pour 1 Tbs. of lemon juice into each 1-qt. mason jar, and fill it with the stewed tomatoes
  6. place an unused lid on top of each jar, and loosely screw down the ring top
  7. boil, submerged, for about 10 minutes, and remove to cool
  8. when the lids make a pop, screw the ring tops down tightly
Note: you'll see seeds in the jars pictured, but I really did get out the vast majority of them. Some people leave them in, but I think it just makes the whole thing more watery than necessary, and I really don't like getting a bunch of seeds stuck in my teeth, if I later use them, and leave them chunky in a sauce, rather than use a boat motor on them.

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