Monday, October 3, 2011

Canning Tomato Juice

Yes, I said Tomato JUICE. I've never canned whole or stewed tomatoes.

I posted HERE about a family recipe we call "Red Macaroni Soup". My family LOVES it so every year I can tomato juice so we can eat Red Macaroni Soup all year long.

So here's my tutorial on how to can tomato juice:
1. Pick, wash and core your tomatoes. I've found the best combo is a juicy variety like Jet Star and Roma. Roma's have more "meat" to them and less water so they balance out the Jet Stars that have a TON of juice in them.

2. Peel the tomatoes. Blanch (place in boiling water for about a minute or so) them then dip in an ice water bath. This loosens the skins and gives you less to clean out of the sieve later on. This step is not necessary, it's more of a preference of convenience.

3.Blend tomatoes in a blender until smooth.

4. Pour puree into sieve and process contents through the sieve.
If you don't peel your tomatoes the above photo is the excess you end up with. Your sieve will need to be cleaned out more often because in addition to seeds you are getting skins.
This is what you get if you peel your tomatoes first....only seeds.
Here is a better picture of what a canning sieve looks like. It's a cone shape with small holes all the way down. There is also a wooden handle that you rotate around the sieve. This presses the food through the holes and leaves skins and seeds inside. Juice runs into a pot below.
5. Once you have a pot full start "cooking down" the tomato juice. It will be foamy, cook the juice down until the foam is gone. You can cook it down further to lessen the amount of water, this also increases the thickness of the juice.

6. Pour into bottles, attach lids and rings.
7. Process in a "hot water bath" for 45 minutes

Now you have tomato juice to use in your own "Red Macaroni Soup", chili, stew, homemade V8 juice....whatever you can think of.

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