Lime or lemon juice (can substitute vinegar)
Canning jars (pint or quart)
- Place a pot of water on the stove to boil.
- Create an ice bath by filling a large bowl with water and ice cubes.
- As with all canned tomato products, you have to prep the tomatoes. Wash them thoroughly and remove any stems or vine and core. At the bottom of the tomato, use a knife to create an "X" in the tomato's skin.
- Place your tomatoes in in the boiling water. Watch for their skins to loosen - the smaller tomatoes will loosen first. If they start looking "raggy", use tongs to fish them out and immediately plop them in the ice bath to cool.
- Rinse and repeat until all tomatoes are peeled. J. and I setup an assembly line for this. I watched over the boiling\ice bath process and then took the iced tomatoes to him at the sink where he removed the skins. If you have a ton of tomatoes to process, having help will make things go much faster!
- Since it was late and we were both tired, we decided to let the tomatoes rest in the fridge overnight, which drew the water out of the tomatoes. We then poured off the extra moisture before we canned them. This is an optional step, but be prepared for thinner tomato paste if you skip this step.
- Sanitize your jars for canning. I like to use pint jars for this because it's just the two of us and a pint is plenty for the chili that we make. Quarts are fine, however, if you can use that much tomato at one time.
- Place 1/6 of the tomatoes in a large pot and crush them. I like to quarter them as I add them to the pot, as it's easier to smash them. Use a potato masher, wooden spoon or the bottom of a ladle (stainless ladle is my choice of weapon!)
- Stir until the tomatoes are close to boiling.
- Add the rest of the tomatoes, quartering them as they are added. No need to crush these, as they will soften and break up as they are heated.
- Boil for 5 minutes. Optional: Use a mixer or hand blender to chop them tomatoes more finely into a puree.
- While the tomatoes are boiling, add 1 tablespoon lime juice, lemon juice, or vinegar into each pint jar (or 2 tablespoons for quart jars). Add 1 teaspoon salt for each pint (optional).
- Ladle the tomatoes into the jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.
- Process in the boiling-water canner for 35 minutes (pint jars) or 40 minutes (quart jars).
- Remove, place on a dish towel where it's not drafty and let cool. You should hear the jars pop as the lids seal. If not, reprocess.