Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

More Canning: Crushed Tomatoes

Sunday, September 01, 2013

It's been too hot to do anything outside (99 degrees!) so I was really hesitant to do anything inside that might raise the temp.  That means no cooking.  But we've got tomatoes coming out of our ears and I really needed to finish up the canning.  We took care of the salsa making but now what to make with the Roma paste tomatoes?  I know....

Crushed tomatoes!

Useful for chili, ketchup, BBQ sauce or anything that you need tomato paste for.  And so simple to can. All you need are:
Fresh tomatoes (preferably vine-ripened, just-picked paste tomatoes)
Lime or lemon juice (can substitute vinegar) 
Salt (optional)
Canning jars (pint or quart)
  1. Place a pot of water on the stove to boil.
  2. Create an ice bath by filling a large bowl with water and ice cubes.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove their skins.  They should peel off easily.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!)
  10. Stir until the tomatoes are close to boiling.
  11. 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.
  12. Boil for 5 minutes.  Optional:  Use a mixer or hand blender to chop them tomatoes more finely into a puree.
  13. 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).
  14. Ladle the tomatoes into the jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.
  15. Process in the boiling-water canner for 35 minutes (pint jars) or 40 minutes (quart jars). 
  16. 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.

And that's all there is to it.  It may look like a lot of work with 16 steps in the process, but this is super easy and a great, versatile way to preserve your fresh tomatoes for use all year round.

I'm sharing with this week's Farm Blog Hop. Have you checked it out yet?


  1. S and J, you bring up such a good point here, smaller sizes for smaller households. I am using half pint freezer containers at this point, because we make micro-meals now... and I found I was wasting larger sizes. That said, I'm going to make myself process the last of my tomatoes into tomato sauce, hopefully today.

  2. Mmmm mmm!! I will have to save these ingredients/instructions for next year! We are hoping to have a big family garden with lots of tomaters!


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