Friday, November 4, 2011

Tomato Canning Exploits

Today, I'm canning tomatoes and (hopefully) applesauce. I may also be finishing up applesauce tomorrow.

I started off the day by making a batch of roasted tomato sauce. This is going to get frozen rather than canned. I couldn't find a roasted tomato sauce recipe for canning in a water bath. The recipes I found that addressed this said it was a bad idea because of the olive oil in the recipe. Frozen is fine. I have a silicon baking thing for tiny cakes where each hole holds about 8oz of liquid. This is a fabulous size for single-serve soups and such. We have frozen chicken veggie soup, lentil soup, and some spaghetti sauce (made with our CSA and all my garden tomatoes) already in the freezer. We like tomato sauce on spaghetti squash... in fact, that's probably what we're having for dinner tonight, since we have a large spaghetti squash sitting around.

Here's the tomatoes, onions, and carrots after roasting for an hour. Mmmmm....

I blended everything up and boiled it for about an hour to thicken it up. 
It looks and smells extremely tasty.

Next up is herbed seasoned tomatoes. My tomatoes are ginormous, so I quartered them rather than halving them and it seems to have worked out pretty well. These are awesome to throw in any recipes that call for canned tomatoes. Apparently canned tomatoes leach BPA from the lining of the can. I feel safer using my home-canned tomatoes.

This is what they look like once they're canned. 
They've got basil, oregano, thyme, sage, and garlic powder in the jars.

I canned 12 pints and then ran out of pint jars. I decided not to do any quarts of whole / quartered tomatoes because I don't think we make many recipes that use a quart of tomatoes at once.

I also did a big batch of plain tomato sauce. This is just a base that I can use for making more interesting spaghetti sauce later on. I ran the rest of the tomatoes through my Vitamix blender in batches so I wouldn't have to take the skins off or remove the seeds. This is what I started with (it's about 10 quarts of liquified tomatoes). The pot is next to a 2 cup measuring cup for scale.

I boiled the sauce down to about 6 quarts. Here's what it looked like at the end:

I ended up with 6 quarts of plain sauce.

On to the apples!

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