canning garden tomatoes

Last last summer I crushed and canned my garden tomatoes.

  1. Removing the tomato skins – place the tomatoes in a large pot of boiling water for 30-45 seconds, but no longer than a minute. then put them into a bowl of ice water. This makes the skins come right off the tomatoes. If you leave the skins in, they’ll be tough in the sauce, not very tasty.
  2. Clean them up, removing the skins, bruises and tough parts
  3. Peel/slide the skins off the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes in to quarters and core.
  4. After you’ve peeled the skins, cut in half.
  5. Remove the seeds and excess ‘water’
  6. Just like it sounds: wash your hands then squeeze each tomato and use your finger or a  spoon to scoop and shake out most of the seeds.  You don’t need to get fanatical about it; removing just most will do. Another way to do it is to cut each tomato in half, across it, instead of lengthwise. Then just shake the seeds and juice out.
  7. Combine 1/6 of the tomatoes and bring to a gentle simmer
  8. Combine one-sixth of the tomatoes in a big pot, crushing them with a wooden mallet or spoon as they are added to the pot. This will exude juice.  There’s generally no need to add liquid, most types of tomatoes have so much water.
  9. Continue heating the tomatoes, stirring to prevent burning.
  10. Once the tomatoes are boiling, gradually add remaining quartered tomatoes, stirring constantly These remaining tomatoes do not need to be crushed. They will soften with heating and stirring. As they cook, the tomatoes will fall apart into sauce with out much need of crushing or mushing!
  11. Continue to add the rest of the tomatoes
  12. Continue until all tomatoes are added. Then boil gently for 5 minutes.
  13. Add 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and liquid to each empty jar
  14. Before you fill each jar with tomatoes, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice per quart jar, 1 per pint jar.  This helps to reduce the odds of spoilage and to retain color and flavor.

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