Even more about canning tomatoes

Are you tried of hearing about tomato preserving yet? No? Good, because I have one more for you. 🙂

Last week we held our stewed tomato workshop.  Because tomatoes are not as naturally acidic as other fruit, you have to add additional acid in order to safely can them.  The recipe below calls for adding lemon juice to each jar.  However, there are other recipes out there that use vinegar or citric acid.

Peeling tomatoes can be a tedious task.  Is it worth it?  We decided to experiment with this workshop.  We peeled half the tomatoes and left the other half unpeeled.  As we were peeling the tomatoes, the group felt like it wasn’t perhaps the best use of time.  However, once we had boiled the tomatoes and the skins were floating around in the jars, some people changed their tune.  Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference.

How do you peel a tomato?  Score the peel – just make a little X on the bottom of the tomato with a knife.  When you bowl is full of scored tomatoes, pour boiling water over them.  Let them sit for a minute or two and then transfer the tomatoes into a bowl of cold water.  The peels should rub off easily.

Here the full recipe:

QUARTERED TOMATOES
Yield: approximately 1 pint (500 ml) jar for every 5 medium tomatoes. These are excellent used in sauces and cooking. If you add salt to the canned tomatoes, remember to reduce salt in any recipes for which you used canned tomatoes.
–    Lots of tomatoes
Wash tomatoes and peel by dipping in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Cut tomatoes into quarters and cut out the hard core at the top. Remove bruised and discoloured sections.
Put 2 cups (480 ml) tomato quarters into large stainless steel or enamel pot. Bring to a boil as you crush the tomatoes. Simmer, stirring constantly. Add remaining tomatoes quarters 2 cups (480 ml) at a time, but do not crush these tomatoes. When the last of the tomatoes have been added, boil 5 minutes.
–     Bottled lemon juice (not fresh lemon juice)
–    Salt (optional)
Remember that you must put in an acid (in this case, lemon juice) in each jar of tomatoes if you want to can them in a boiling water bath. Otherwise, they must be processed in a pressure can. Put 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) bottled lemon juice in each hot pint (500 ml) mason jar, and 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) bottled lemon juice in each quart (1 L) mason jar.

Optional: To each pint (500 ml) jar add ½ tsp. (2 ml) salt. To each quart (1 L) jar add 1 tsp. (5 ml) salt.

Pack hot tomatoes into jar leaving ½ inch (1 cm) headspace. Remove air bubbles and readjust headspace to 1/2inch (1 cm). Wipe rims and put on snap lids and screw bands. Process pint (500 ml) jars 35 minutes in a boiling water bath and quart (1 L) jars 45 minutes.

Source: Foods of Spry Field: Cooking and Preserving Then and Now. Urban Farm Museum Society

Yours in food,

Marla

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