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Thread: Tomato sauce for canning

  1. #1
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    Tomato sauce for canning

    Hi All,

    This is my first post and the first time I've accessed this community. Please be patient if I've done something wrong.

    As a result of my discontent with commercial tomato sauces, I've decided to buy a bushel of field tomatoes and make my own to take the family through the winter. I'm looking for a healthful and flavourful tomato sauce as well as canning instructions. Can anyone help?

    m

  2. #2
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    I don't have a recipe for tomato sauce, but just wanted to say welcome to cooking light BB's!

    Chari

  3. #3
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    Welcome to the boards -- I'm sure someone will have an answer for you! I used to can tomato juice and sauce, but I don't remember specifically enought to answer your questions. Another good source, besides the boards, is the Better Homes and Gardens canning book...
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  4. #4
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    There is a board favorite marinara called Marinara Magnifico that you can search for but it uses canned tomatoes. I know nothing about canning so I'm of no help there!

    Just a heads up, weekends, and especially holiday weekends, tend to be VERY slow around here so if you don't get much response be patient. Try bumping up your thread each day, especially on Tuesday. Welcome to the boards!

  5. #5
    Before you do anything, get yourself a Ball Blue Book. They are available on Amazon, and sometimes you can find them where you buy jars and lids.

    Or, go to the the National Center for Home Food Preservation--their info on canning is located at http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_home.html

    Be careful to follow directions exactly--we would hate to lose a new member!!

    My most recent adventure in canning was roasted tomato sauce. Instead of reducing the liquid in the tomatoes by simmering on top of the stove, I cut the tomatoes in half, put them on a well oiled cooky sheet, and roasted them for about one hour at 400 degrees. (Could be 15 minutes more or less, depending on the size of the tomatoes. They should be soft and brown around the edges, but not burned.)

    Scrape the tomatoes into the food processor and whiz til smooth--no need to peel or seed the tomatoes this way. It was the easiest (and best tasting) sauce I have ever done.

    To can them--see the instructions at the website. And follow them, no matter what your grandma or next door neighbor does.

    If you have any other questions, please feel free to pm me--I love to can, love the satisfaction of seeing all those jars on the shelf, and I love, love, love opening up a can of summer on a cold February day.

  6. #6
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    Tomato sauce for canning

    Wow! Thanks for your response. The roasted tomato sauce sounds great.

    I've just purchased the Ball Blue book on Amazon as well as printed off the information off the National Center for Home Food Preservation. It seems much has changed since my mom canned with a big pot of jars on top of the stove. I've never heard of dial-guage pressure canning or a weighted-gauge pressure canner. I think I'll be learning a lot. Nevertheless, I'm tenacious and, like you, look forward to opening a jar of summer in February.

    Thank you.

    m

  7. #7
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    I've successfully canned the Marinara that Robyn mentioned many times, and I'll include the recipe here. It calls for canned tomatoes, but I've done it with fresh and it's really good. You just have to take the extra step of peeling and seeding the tomatoes. It is done in a hot water bath, 45 minute processing time for pints (sorry, I live by myself and don't can quarts, but you can find the time in the Ball Blue Book!) It's lovely on pasta, in lasagna, on pizza, etc etc. I also recommend buying a loaf of crusty bread for the day that you make it.

    Marinara (haven't named it yet beyond "My Marinara" )

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon sugar
    3-4 medium onions, chopped
    1/2 cup cup dry red wine
    6 cloves garlic, crushed with the blade of a knife
    3 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (or 2 28-ounce cans crushed and 2 14-ounce cans diced if you want a bit more chunkiness)
    2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
    2 teaspoons oregano
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    1/2 teaspoon thyme
    1/2 teaspoon marjoram
    pinch of crushed red pepper or more to taste
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    Heat oil in a Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add chopped onions and 1 tablespoon sugar. Sauté onions for 30-45 minutes, or until sweet and caramelized. As the pan dries while onions are cooking, add red wine as needed. Once onions are done, continue to add the rest of the ingredients. Stir until well-combined. Simmer over low heat for 4-6 hours (you can simmer for less, but I would simmer for at least 1-2 hours). Stir often to keep the sauce from burning or getting overcooked. Makes about 9 cups of sauce.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  8. #8
    I've been playing with making tomato sauce all weekend. I had a gift of approx. 2 bushels of tomatoes! I started with approx. 5 qt stock pot of chopped peeled tomatoes, several cloves of garlic minced, some olive oil, and a little onion. Let it cook up to 8 hours on low so reduced by 1/2 and thick. And added approx. 1 tsp. or more of dried basil, and 1/2 tsp. of oregano.
    It was wonderful.

  9. #9
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    Question for badunnin?

    Do you have to add any vinegar to make Lindrusso's Marinara acidic for canning?

    Patti

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pschambers
    Question for badunnin?

    Do you have to add any vinegar to make Lindrusso's Marinara acidic for canning?

    Patti
    Sometimes I add a bit of balsamic, but not always. It really has enough acid without it, between the tomatoes and the wine.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  11. #11
    Just because I work for Extension, I have to say it--modern methods of canning call for adding acid to tomatoes if you are going to waterbath can. (Reasoning for this--tomatoes are right on the edge of being acid enough. Factor in different growing conditions and new hybrids bred to be less acid and you might be too basic to be safe.)

    You will probably be ok, but USDA wants you to add 2 tablespoon of lemon juice per quart of tomatoes.

    Because that recipe has a significant amount of non-acidic ingredients--onions, garlic--I personally would not can it, especially not in a water bath canner.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparrowgrass
    Just because I work for Extension, I have to say it--modern methods of canning call for adding acid to tomatoes if you are going to waterbath can. (Reasoning for this--tomatoes are right on the edge of being acid enough. Factor in different growing conditions and new hybrids bred to be less acid and you might be too basic to be safe.)

    You will probably be ok, but USDA wants you to add 2 tablespoon of lemon juice per quart of tomatoes.

    Because that recipe has a significant amount of non-acidic ingredients--onions, garlic--I personally would not can it, especially not in a water bath canner.
    I keep a small container of litmus strips on hand for recipes such as this, and it's always tested in the safe range for acid canning.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  13. #13
    All right! Can you tell me more about litmus paper technique?

    I tend to overkill--I almost always pressure can everything, so I don't worry too much if acid is not high enough.

    (I pressure can not only for safety, but because it seems quicker to me to heat up the food and the 2 quarts of water in the canner, than to heat up the food and all the water in a water bath.)

  14. #14
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    Canning -- Recommendations for Pressure Canners?

    Wow! I've learned so much ... thank you.

    Now that I've decided to purchase a pressure canner, does anyone have any favourites ... or ones to avoid?

    m

  15. #15
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    Whenever I make tomato sauce I always just ladel it into jars while it's boiling. I'll then put the lid on the jar right away and then screw the jar ring on. It'll seal all by itself. I love to listen to the popping as the jars seal. If you like a smooth tomato sauce you might want to buy a strainer if you don't have one. I use a Victorio strainer. I also make 30 quarts of sauce at a time, but it's really nice for apple sauce, too.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparrowgrass
    All right! Can you tell me more about litmus paper technique?

    I tend to overkill--I almost always pressure can everything, so I don't worry too much if acid is not high enough.

    (I pressure can not only for safety, but because it seems quicker to me to heat up the food and the 2 quarts of water in the canner, than to heat up the food and all the water in a water bath.)
    I took a lot of chemistry classes in HS (3 years) and college (again, 3 years, through physical chemistry) and have to admit that the pH testing for me has more to do with geekdom than it does with safety. I use pH test strips designed for acid - like these. To qualify for high acid, it needs to have pH of less than 4.6. I've had it be a bit over (like 4.8) and I don't worry too much about it. I'm not a fanatic about germs, and have canned for years without incident. I figure if I can get close, I'll probably be ok. Heck, generations before us, and around the world to this day for that matter, are canning using methods that every extension office that I know of would be appalled at. The German canning recipes that I have all tell you to boil your contents and jars, use 2 piece lids, fill to the top, and flip the jars over - no processing needed. A friend of mine who lived in France mentioned that her host family would just scrap the mould off the top and eat the preserves underneath.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by badunnin
    A friend of mine who lived in France mentioned that her host family would just scrap the mould off the top and eat the preserves underneath.


    I think the precautions issued nowadays are well-intentioned, but way overboard for the most part. We didn't do most of that stuff when I was younger and I don't remember all of us running around puking our guts out or anything.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by badunnin
    I use pH test strips designed for acid. To qualify for high acid, it needs to have pH of less than 4.6. I've had it be a bit over (like 4.8) and I don't worry too much about it. I'm not a fanatic about germs, and have canned for years without incident.
    Interesting! Can I buy these strips at the local pharmacy? I agree with the rest of your post. For years, open-kettle canning was considered completely safe (but only for certain foods). Except for green beans, and beets my Mother & Grandmother refused even to *try* to pressure can corn, etc. (I was so well indoctrinated that, even to this day, I wouldn't attempt it!). I've successfully used the open-kettle method for years, but only for certain foods like tomatoes, pickles, peaches, jellies and cranberry sauce. Every can opened gets the "sniff test". Over many years, only two times have I had to use the adage: "When in doubt, throw it out!"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADM
    Interesting! Can I buy these strips at the local pharmacy? I agree with the rest of your post.
    You know, I don't even know. I teach high school, and usually just nick them from the chem lab.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the info badunnin!

    Patti

  21. #21
    Well, badunnin, I guess next time you will just have to nick enough for the rest of us.

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