Monday, September 6, 2010

20 lbs. of San Marzano Tomatoes Preserved - Check!




I have been waiting for the San Marzano tomatoes all summer. At the farm stand where I frequent they grown an heirloom variety of the Roma called the San Marzano, this variety is the tops for sauce. I love them, they have a thinner skin, less seeds and are a little less acidic. I loaded up my car with a flat and headed for home.

I see why the call if Labor Day, there was not much rest going on around here this weekend. I thought I would lounge around and recover from my cold, but my daughter came home from college with friends and my husband invited friends over for a BBQ. Plus I already had the tomatoes waiting for me to preserve. It was a long, but worth the effort weekend.

Here are the beautiful tomatoes I found.


For preserving the tomatoes you just need a few things:
A large stockpot full of boiling water
A large bowl full of ice water
Lemon juice or distilled white vinegar
Kosher or pickling salt (not iodized)
A large pot for canning the jars

Sterilize all your jars and lids with boiling water and set aside. 


To Remove the Skins:

Put a large pot of water on to boil and cut X's in the bottom of each tomato. Place about 20 tomatoes at a time into the boiling water for two minutes or so, remove and place the tomatoes into a bowl filled with ice water. Peel.

Or you can cut the tomatoes in half and lay them single layer on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment or a silpat mat and bake in a 425 degree F oven for 10 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or vinegar either works fine) and 1 teaspoon salt to a clean Mason jar. Add about 20 tomatoes per jar or until 1/2" from the top of the jar. Make sure and pack down and all the air bubbles are out, you can stick a chopstick in there to get any air bubbles out. Wipe the top of the jar with a clean cloth and place lid on and band.

***I thought I would clarify that the 1/2" of head space applies to the tomato sauce too, if you are canning it.***

Fill the rest of the jars, I ended up with 7 full 1 quart jars.

You will need a large pot like this one for the canning process, mine is a tamale pot I use at Christmas. They are really inexpensive at a Mexican grocery store and already have a rack on the bottom, which is necessary for suspending the jars.


You can use any pot if it is tall enough to cover the jars with boiling water by about 2 inches. I like to fill the pot about 2/3 of the way with water and bring it to a boil so it's ready when I am. 

Add the jars to the boiling water and leave in for 45 minutes. Remove jars from the hot water with a jar lifter and place on the counter on a towel to cool. You will hear them pop and that's good, it means they are sealed. If you don't hear the pop, press down on the center it shouldn't give and that also means they are sealed.

If your jars don't seal, you can trying placing them back in the hot water for a bit and try again. Sometimes on rare occasion I've gotten a bad lid that didn't seal, but most times they work.

Happy Canning,

Gina

25 comments:

  1. Aweee, I am jealous, I would love to get either that big box of tomatoes or a jar of your preserved tomatoes! Would you share? :) I also couldn't agree more that San Marzano are absolute best for sauce, winner hands down.

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  2. MMMM! I am so interested in canning! You made it look so easy and now I am even more eager to try it out! I bet you're going to make all kinds of delicious sauces with your stock! Can't wait to read more about it.

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  3. Yum! Canning is awesome! You can preserve so many great things and then use them later...the tomatoes look so good!

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  4. This looks fantastic! I've been making jam for years and canning it but have yet to venture into the vegetable canning. Those tomatoes look amazing and how nice will it be in a few months when you have all those jars to use :o)

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  5. Wow! What an impressive project. I'm sure it will be well worth it when you open those jars :)

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  6. Gina, you do make canning seem like a fuss-free thing to do. I am bookmarking the recipe to try!

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  7. Oh yum! They look amazing! I have never tried canning before. But this might just inspire me to do it! Thanks for posting!

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  8. Gina, I would love to get my hands on several cases of these wonderful tomatoes.
    The jars look fantastic.

    Tres magnifique et bon appetit!
    CCR
    =:~)

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  9. I give you a lot of credit going through this process, but just think about all the wonderful meals you will have from your effort. I use to do this with my grandmother and your post brought back all those wonderful memories sitting under her grapevine terrace and canning tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes are grown in volcanic soil in Italy, which they seem to thrive in. I've never found better tomatoes outside of Italy where I go every month to buy all my Italian ingredients. They are so much better then anything I can buy in Switzerland. But I'm sure yours will make a wonderful sauce.

    Regards,
    Patricia

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  10. Margot was just talking about making sauce. Now we know what kind of tomatoes to get!!

    Jason

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  11. Thanks everyone! We are very fortunate here to have such wonderful tomatoes!
    Cilantropist, I respond very well to food bribes! He He
    Patricia, I'm envious, I hope to travel one day to Italy and eat the tomatoes!
    Have a wonderful evening everyone!

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  12. Gina, Gorgeous tomatoes. Great job you did with them. The only San Marzano tomatoes we get here in S. Florida, are the canned ones, which are the best, if you're using canned tomatoes, but oh, nothing beats home preserved tomatoes. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Canning your own tomatoes is the only way to bottle summer. Those jars look beautiful!

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  14. Look at all of those beautiful tomatoes, wow you've been busy. Looks fantastic.

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  15. Congratulations! Looks like quite a project but now you're set for the winter. ;)

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  16. There is nothing like the taste of a fresh tomato in the dead of winter, and I agree the San Marzano's are THE BEST for sauce.

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  17. I'm envious of those tomatoes. I missed out on a big batch for canning this year and will definitely miss it this summer. Well done on all your hard work!

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  18. These tomatoes are beautiful and what a luck find! Now that you canned them, you will be able to enjoy all winter! I have just gotten into canning this year and I am hooked.

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  19. Those tomatoes are gorgeous. Not sure that we can get this variety in IL. I'm going to check, though. You made canning tomatoes look like a breeze, ha, ha!I know that it isn't.

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  20. A quick question, do the jars have to be immersed in the boiling water for 45 minutes with the GAS/STOVE on? Sorry if I sound dumb :(

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    1. Hi Anonymous. Yes the stove needs to be on and the water needs to be boiling for a continuous 45 minutes after the jars are filled with the tomatoes. I hope that helps, if it doesn't feel free to send me an e-mail or leave me yours and maybe I can help you further. Happy to help, no need to apologize.
      -Gina-

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  21. When you add the salt and vinegar to each jar (for canning sauce) will it affect the flavor of my marinara sauce? Will it make it too salty if it's already seasoned just right before canning?

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      The salt and vinegar is added only when you can whole tomatoes, it is not necessary to add these ingredients to finished marinara sauce, that is put in the jar straight off the stove with no additions. Hope this helps anyone with this question in the future.

      Thanks,
      Gina

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  22. Nix the Lemon juice/vinegar.....Citric acid is all that is used with the San Marzano in San Marzano for DOP. No salt either.

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    Replies
    1. Good point, yes citric acid can be used instead of the vinegar/salt, I don't have it on hand for home use, but if you do feel free to substitute it.

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