Tomatoes are probably one of, if not the most, canned home garden grown goody there is. It’s a plant that is plentiful and useful, but it can sit right next to zucchini as becoming overwhelming when it’s ripe for the season.
On top of being overly abundant, old school methods of making sauce are a hot, time consuming, labor intensive job. Hours over a hot stove, in high humidity blanching tomatoes, peeling tomatoes, milling tomatoes, all to get a product that is far superior than anything you can buy at the store.
Then you go to the store and find tomato sauce on sale for a little more than a dollar.
I am all for going through the extra effort to make a superior product. But, my time is valuable and I don’t know if I have the time for such a small return. So, in true modern frontier fashion I have a better, stupid easy way to make tomato sauce in passive time.
First off, for those that don’t know how grandma made tomato sauce. After she picked them she would boil a pot of water and blanch each, fruit one by one. Next, she’d tear out the core and seeds as well as slipping off the skin. The meaty body of the tomato is thrown into a food mill. Sitting over a simmering pot, the mill grinds the tomatoes into a sauce, but often the mill gets clogged with bits and pieces.
The process grandma used makes an excellent sauce, but so does my method.
First, we pick the tomatoes as they become ripe. Next, we core the top, rinse and drop them into a gallon size freezer bag then pop them into the freezer.
I do this with all the tomatoes I grow, from my meaty canning variety, my excellent flavored heirloom, and even my extra sweet cherry tomatoes. I can only eat so much tomato at a time!
My freezer fills with bag after bag of frozen tomatoes, waiting for their day, the day it cools off in the fall, the day the humidity drops. I’ll take out the frozen bags the night before and put them in a large meat lug because these bags will leak.
The next morning we take our ninja food processor, and load by load, we purée the fruits whole, skins and all.
Next I put them on the stove to start boiling off the water.
You’ll notice that you’re left with a large amount of water at the bottom of the tote. That’s the process of getting a jump start on thickening the sauce.
I like to pour the purée into a Nesco roaster pan and set the temp to 375, just making sure I stir every so often.
You don’t want the sauce too thick when you can it because you are likely to cook it down more when you go to consume it.
To can, we add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each pint (2 tablespoons for a quart), this helps keep the acidity levels high. Process in a water bath for 35 minutes.
Making good food does not have to be an all day chore, keep it stupid easy.