We planted about a dozen tomato plants this year in hopes of canning quite a few. Though the plants aren’t all producing, a few are making up for the lack of production in the others. So, it’s canning time!
This tomato-canning method is adapted from Laura at Heavenly Homemakers. It’s my favorite because there’s no tomato-skinning involved and very little prep work.
Tip: If your tomato plants don’t produce all at once, you can freeze your tomatoes (whole and without any prep other than washing) until you have enough to make a batch worthwhile.
First, cut your tomatoes in halves or quarters, depending on how big they are and how powerful your blender is. This year, I had a lot of medium-sized Roma tomatoes that I just cut in half.
Blend into…a tomato smoothie. You can leave bigger chunks if that’s what you want in your sauces or blend until it’s almost mush.
Pour your tomato smoothie into a large pot. A heavy-bottomed pot is best to keep the tomato mixture from sticking while you cook it.
Simmer the mixture for at least 1 1/2 hours, up to 4 or 5 hours. Your boiling time will depend on how much liquid your tomatoes hold and whether you want tomato paste, juice or sauce. Boiling for a short time produces juice while a longer time produces sauce and yet a longer time produces paste.
When your mixture reaches your desired consistency, it’s time to can it. I usually use pint jars for tomato sauce since they hold enough sauce for a future recipe without much left over.
Pour a bit of lemon juice (about a tablespoon) into each sterilized jar. This adds acid to make sure your tomato sauce is acidic enough not to spoil. Then, add your tomato juice/sauce/paste.
Seal the jars and process in a boiling water canner for 25-35 minutes, depending on your jars’ size.