August 23, 2012

Canning Tomatoes

It's tomato time. After we got back from our Florida adventures, we had tomatoes coming out of our ears, enough to fill up a 5 gallon bucket twice and my garden basket (and make that yummy gazpacho).

I knew we couldn't eat the rest right away. Time to get out the Ball jars and the pressure canner and get to work. I have never canned tomatoes before, but I figured it might work out better than the freezing method I have been using. I wanted to capture the taste of home grown tomatoes for wintertime soups, pasta dishes and casseroles. I have to say after going through all of this work, they better taste good! Buying store canned tomatoes is pretty cheap and easy, so I can't say if I will go this route next year unless they taste super fantastic. But I knew I needed to try it out just to say I could do it! :) I'm I the only one who thinks like this or are there things you do just to prove you can??
Canning Tomatoes

17 pounds ripe tomatoes
14 Tbsp of bottled lemon juice
7 tsp salt
7 quart sized jars with lids and rings

Fill pressure canner with water about 1/3 full and bring to a boil.

Fill a large saucepan ¾ of the way full and bring to a boil. Gently lower tomatoes into the HOT water. Cook for about 30 seconds and the skins will split. Immediately plunge into a cold water bath to stop cooking and make the tomatoes all cozy and touchable (the opposite of flaming hot). Then you can easily pull off the skins. Dice the skinned tomatoes and put into hot clean jars. Pack them in tightly. (This is a messy step in my kitchen.)
Put 2 tbls of lemon juice and 1 tsp of salt in each jar. Make sure tomatoes have juice covering them, adding from the bowl if needed. Leave 1/2" headspace. Release air bubbles if you have them, wipe the rims and seal with lids and rings.
Process jars in boiling water pressure canner for 25 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. Start timing them only when the gauge starts spinning and the water is boiling. After 25 minutes, remove canner from heat and allow to sit until pressure drops. When cooled, remove lid and remove jars using a lifter. Cool jars on a towel. Check for sealed lid (no give in lid when pushed down). 


1 comment:

  1. I wish I lived close enough for you to send over some of your surplus. We got nothin' this year. I bet I picked two handfuls of cherry tomatoes this summer and now all the vines are dead. I have come to the conclusion that we cannot grow a dang tomato!


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