Hmmmm homegrown tomato sauce, yes please. This canning project can be processed in a water bath. Tomatoes are usually a high acid food, which makes them safe for a water bath method of canning. However, not all tomatoes have the same acidity so you want to include 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Now, you may think oh I can just use fresh lemon juice from a real lemon. Unfortunately you can’t, the lemon juice that comes in a jar ensure it contains the proper amount of acidity. By adding the lemon juice you are increasing the acidity, making it safe for canning. You can also use citric acid to increase the acidity. Depending on the food you are canning, lemon juice can add a flavoring so that’s where you will have to decide which you will use. This tomatoe sauce is your basic tomato sauce no seasoning at all. If you want to spice it up, knock yourself out. The canning process is the same. Let’s get to it!
As always wash your tomatoes. Then get your water bath canner filled with water and start that bad boy on the stove. It takes quite some time to get that water boiling so you want to start it first thing. Keeping the lid on the pot brings the water to a boil a little faster.
You want to cut your tomatoes length wise and scoop out with a spoon all the seeds into a jar, you can save those seeds for next years garden if you really wanted to. A post on that is coming soon! Ok focus, after spooning all the seeds out cut the core out by making a small little V.
Next, we are going to blanch these little suckers, so you are going to get some filtered water boiling and a bowl of ice water ready. Once your water is boiling, throw in enough tomatoes to fill the pot a good amount but not over flowing, work in batches. Once you throw them in set a timer for three minutes. Once your timer goes off scoop them out of the boiling water and dump them straight in the ice water until they cool. Get all your tomatoes done.
Get a fresh pot on your stove; cleaning as you go is a life saver just an FYI. Take your tomato and peel the skin off and throw them in your clean pot. Start heating it up homie. You are going to want to mash them up or even toss them in the blender for a quick spin and throw it back in your pot. Whatever tickles your fancy. I like to blend it. Cook your sauce until it cooks downs quite a bit and thickens up.
For the water bath process you need to sanitize your jars. At this point your water should be boiling so toss your jars in the boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure you do this when you are ready to fill your jars. They need to be hot when you fill them. At this point you want to ladle some boil water over your sealing lids. This softens the seal getting them ready to properly seal up the goodness you are sweating over.
Put a funnel over your jar and put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or citric acid for pint size jars and 2 tablespoons for quarts. Now pour your sauce in your jars. Slap a lid on them and a ring, only finger tight though!
Here’s the fun part, take your jar tongs and drop them, not literally please, into the boiling water. Make sure the water stays boiling, if it cools down when you put your jars in just bring it back to a boil. Start your timer pints for 40 minutes quarts for 60.
Boom, bang, bam you be done yo! Take your jars out and place them on a towel on your counter and leave to sit for a full 24 hours. If you’re lucky you’ll get to hear the little PING that tells you, you just canned up some tomato sauce. Job well done.