October 10, 2011

Canning Stewed Tomatoes Recipe

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My Mom has canned Stewed Tomatoes for basically as long as I can remember.  As a kid I always hated helping my Mom with canning but as I grew older I didn't mind it as much.  Now I love canning and bottling because it makes me feel so domestic.  I love Stewed Tomatoes because they are super versatile and can be used in so many different things.  I use these babies in place of store bought tomatoes in the can and they always taste so much better.  They are just so fresh and nice and have no tin after flavor at all.  Home bottled tomatoes are perfect in Spaghetti sauce, soups, chilis, pretty much anything that calls for store bought tomatoes in a can.

You will need a box of ripe Tomatoes, Lemon Juice, and clean Quart sized Mason Jars.  We always re-use our jars from year to year so we have a real variety of bottles.
*Special Equipment* You will need a Steam Canner.

If you are using new Mason Jars you won't need these..but if you are recycling you will need some of the Lids because those cannot be re-used.  The rings can so no need to buy those unless you don't have enough.

Start by washing all your Tomatoes really well.

Look how pretty all these nice washed tomatoes are.

I love farm fresh produce because you can always find some real funny looking items.  These two made me happy.

Bring a big pot of water to a boil and then turn the water down to a simmer.  Place in a bunch of Tomatoes until the skin begins to peel away from the fruit.

Move the tomatoes to a cake pan and let them sit until they are cool enough to handle.

Using a parring knife cut out the core. 
The skin should peel off easily using a parring knife.  We just leave the core and peel in the cake pan to help things move along quickly.  Then you can just dump it once it gets full.

Cut the peeled and cored Tomato into 8 or so chunks and place them in a separate bowl.

Pour the sliced Tomatoes into a giant pot that is on medium heat.
You will cook the tomatoes about 3 hours to get them cooked down a bit.

As you can see the tomatoes are very soupy at this point and have cooked down a bit.  There aren't many big chunks left but you will want to take a potato masher to them and break up whatever is left.  Some chunks are good but you want everything really broken up and liquidy.
Oh yeah!

At this point you will want to get your lids ready.  Put a small pot to boil and you will want to simmer the lids to soften up the seal for a bit.  Follow the package instructions.

Now we need to use the Lemon Juice.  You could use fresh but we take the easy road and use from concentrate.

Measure 1 TBSP of Lemon Juice per mason jar.

Just pour it in the bottom of the jar.

We like to create a pouring station like this.  Big funnel in the Jar on top of a pie plate.  It helps reduce mess by doing this.

Just use a measuring cup to pour the Stewed tomatoes into the mason jar.

You don't want to overfill so go to just under the part where the rings will go. 

Just grab a paper towel or a wash cloth and get it wet.  Ring it out well because you don't want it to be soggy.

The jars get very messy.

Wipe all the mess off to avoid heartbreak and sadness later on.

By now the lids are ready to go.  They are hot so I use a fork to pick them up and place them right on top of the Mason Jar.

Press down a little.

Top with the rings.

And turn to tighten pretty well. 

Fill the bottom of the Steam Canner with water.  You want the water to come all the way up to the bottles so you don't run out during the steaming process.

Put the lid on and get things going on Medium-Medium High heat.

Once the steam is really coming out, which is difficult to see in the picture, you want to set a timer for 80 minutes.  **Before you start your next batch make sure you fill the water up in the steamer!

When you first get the tomatoes out you will want to turn them upside down on top of a towel.  This isn't a necessary step..but my Mom does it so you should too.  Be aware that the bottles will be very hot and you will want to be careful of the surface you put them on to cool.  We put them on a wood table and there is still an impression of the hot bottle tops that melted it's way into the varnish.  After they have had a bit of time to cool you can flip them over and write the year on the lid.

Check out these babies ready to be made into all manner of delicious things!  (We used 2 full boxes and got about 28 Bottles)

Canning Stewed Tomatoes Recipe

Lemon Juice

*special equipment*
Mason Jars
Steam Canner

Start a large pot on the stove over medium heat and bring it to a boil and then allow to simmer.  Wash your tomatoes thoroughly and place in the pot so they are fully submerged in stages.  Allow to simmer until the skin begins to peel away from the fruit.  Move to a cake pan and allow to sit until cool enough to handle.  Using a parring knife remove the core and skin.  Cut the tomato into 8 chunks and move into a very large pot. 

Warm the very pot over Medium-Medium High heat.  You will cook the tomatoes stirring occasionally for about 3 hours.  You want the tomatoes to cook down, lose their shape, and become liquidy.  If you are stirring and notice the tomatoes are burning on the bottom stir more often and/or turn down the heat.

When the Tomatoes are done cooking you will want to bring a small saucepan of water to boiling and add in the lids for the number of bottles that your steamer can do at one time.  Allow them to simmer according to package instructions.  Now take a Potato Masher and mash up the tomatoes in the large pot to break up any big chunks of tomatoes.  You don't want to make it totally smooth but you also don't want huge chunks.

Add 1 TBSP of Lemon Juice to each Mason Jar and then pour the cooked tomatoes on top of that until it reaches the bottom of the place where the rings will go.  Using a damp paper towel or wash cloth clean the top of the bottle off in case any tomatoes splashed during the filling of the bottle.  Take a hot lid out of the small saucepan and place it on top of the jar and top with the ring.  Make sure the ring is screwed on pretty tight. 

When the bottles are done you will want to place your Steam Canner on the stove top and fill it full of water.  Place the bottles on and set the heat to medium-medium high.  Place the lid on and wait for steam to build up.  Once it is steaming good and hard you will set the timer for 80 minutes.  Once the time is up transfer the HOT bottles from the steamer to your countertop.  You will want to place them upside down on top of a hand towel.  *Be aware of table finishes we put them on a table once and the rings will show up until that table is refinished* Let cool.  Make sure the lids seal then put the year on each lid so you can keep track. 

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  1. Awesome Jullee! I know little about canning so this is great. I will have to try this next year (I hope). Thanks :)

  2. Thanks Michelle! We love our bottled tomatoes at my house. I don't think I could make it through the winter without canning some. I hope you try it and if you do please let me know :)