October 7, 2012

Canning Tomatoes

A few weeks ago I scored a bucket of roma tomatoes for six dollars at the farmer's market. I canned tomatoes last year, but never posted about it. Those canned tomatoes didn't last long. Here's this year's yield, but I just received more tomatoes from my cousin's beautiful garden, so more canning this week.

It took almost 2 hours to prepare the tomatoes (blanching, peeling, coring), but the rest of the process was much less labor intensive. If you've never canned before, you'll need more information than this recipe, especially about preparing the jars. Also be sure to use bottled lemon juice, not fresh.

Raw-Pack Canned Tomatoes
from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving by Judi Kingry and Laruen Devine

bottled lemon juice or citric acid
salt (optional)

1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids.

2. Working small batches, immerse tomatoes in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until the skins start to loosen or crack. Immediately plunge into a bowl of cold water and slip the skins off. Remove cores and any bruised or discolored portions that become apparent after blanching. Leave whole, halve or quarter.

3. Prepare tomatoes for packing: Bring about 4 cups water to a boil and keep hot (you will use it to fill the jars). Do not heat the tomatoes.

4. Before packing each jar of tomatoes, add lemon juice or citric acid to the hot jar in the quantity specified below:

bottled lemon juice
pint - 1 Tbsp
quart - 2 Tbsp

citric acid
pint - 1/4 tsp
quart - 1/2 tsp

5. Add salt, if using, in the quantity specified below:
pint - 1/2 tsp
quart 1 tsp

6. Pack tomatoes into prepared jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar. Ladle boiling water into jar to cover tomatoes, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles by inserting a wand into the jar several times. Adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot liquid. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

7. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process pint jars for 40 minutes and quart jars for 45 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

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