At our local church we had what we called a Salad and Swap. Everyone brought 5 things they no longer needed, that were in good condition, and then we got to try for 5 of those things that we could use. Well one of those things I ended up “winning” was a big box of Amish Paste Tomatoes. Yum! So within about 36 hours I was ready to get those beautiful tomatoes canned. I normally can whole tomatoes but decided that it would be fun to broaden my canning skills and can the tomatoes a little bit different. So I chose tomato sauce since we use it all the time in chili’s and soups. It turned out great, they all sealed and we’ve already used one up in a chili recipe I made.
Over 4 Pounds of Tomatoes (you’ll want to end with about 4 pounds after deseeding them)
1 Cup of Onion, shredded or chopped
1 Tablespoon of Garlic chopped fine
1/2 Teaspoon of Basil
1/2 Teaspoon of Oregano
1 1/2 Teaspoon of Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon of Pepper
1 Large Bottle of Lemon Juice
12 Pints, 12 plus Half Pints, 6-8 Quarts
Lids and Rings for Jars as well
- First I soak the tomato’s in a bowl full of vinegar, with water added, this helps clean the tomatoes, I also go through each one and look it over to pull out any bruised, mushy, or moldy ones.
- I use a liner.
- Cut the stem off of each tomato, quarter and then cut out as much of the seeds and excess juice as possible, be sure to look for buggy or black spots inside, I routinely find a few tomatoes that have gone bad this way.
- You can keep everything but the stem, not removing the juice or seeds, but your sauce will be more runny, I also have found the sauce really bulks up better with the skins.
- If your tomato’s have any splits in them, be sure to cut the split off.
- Place all the ingredients in the Crock-Pot and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- After those 2 hours, uncover, and continue cooking until it is as thick or thin as your wanting it, it will probably take about 8 hours.
- Scoop out everything except the excess watery juice into a blender.
- Run your tomatoes through the blender with just a few quick spins to get it a smooth consistency.
- Pour one tablespoon of lemon juice into all pints or half-pints, 2 Tablespoons into quarts.
- Pour the sauce into your clean jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head-space.
- Use a plastic utensil or tool to place into the jar, to help the air bubbles to escape.
- Wipe off the top of each jar with a wet towel to wipe away any spillage.
- With your lids in some warmed water on the stove (I typically boil the water, and then put it on warm and place lids inside) and rings that are clean and have been sitting in warm water, carefully place lids on top, and rings being sure to not tighten too much or the lid can buckle.
- Place the jars in warm water in the water bath canner.
- For pints or half pints can for 35 minutes, quarts for 40 minutes (so start counting once the water is on a full boil).
- If you are a high elevation adjust accordingly
- Times are quite uniform for tomato sauce, you just need to know your elevation.
- Do not add any type of meat or alter by adding more non acidic ingredients to recipe unless your going to pressure can it.
I used half pints as they were the most similar size to the small cans of tomato sauce you get at the store. I got 12 out of them. Full Pints you will get less, and if your wanting to do quarts you’ll have fewer jars as well.
The lemon juice is to push the acid level of the tomatoes from borderline to high enough that botulism cannot grow. I would strongly suggest using the lemon juice. Lady Katie can even attest that skipping the lemon juice step can lead to entire batches of tomatoes going bad.
When you can I strongly suggest you purchase a great tool. The Ball Blue book. If yours is 27 years old, consider purchasing a newer updated one. It is the fore most authority in canning safely and will have all those elevation numbers you might need as well. Also for those that have been struggling (like I have been) with how to can on a glass top stove, sit down and I’ll tell you how I’ve solved it for our family. I knew my water bath canner would not work on my new glas top stove. I decided to try a steam canner, but that still didn’t work. After 3 hours, trying to get 6 cups of water to boil, we moved onto a cheap bunson burner that I had laying around. Let me just say, that was a very long night trying to can 3 batches of peaches on a bunson burner that every few minutes would turn itself off. I purchased this professional burner on Amazon and it works wonderfully! No more long nights trying to get one batch to be processed. I still use the steam canner as I find it so much easier, faster, and cleaner to use then a hot water bath canner. It is timed the same, it’s just faster because you only boil 6-8 cups of water instead of a huge tub full of water in a water bath canner.