Before I even start telling you the process for canning tomatoes, I’ll just let you know that canning can be very fun and rewarding, but it can also be very time-consuming and messy. I love canning because I can eat from my garden all year long. My husband and I get in the kitchen together and make a big mess and have a lot of fun with it. I hope you’ll have fun with it, too!
Supplies: You can find most of these in the canning section at Wal-Mart
Canning jars (you’ll use quart jars for this recipe)
Jar lifter (these look like tongs)
Magnetic wands (these are super handy)
Preparing canner, jars, and lids:
1. Clean jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse well and drain.
2. Heat the jars in a rack in the bottom of a boiling-water canner. Add water to the jars and canner until the jars are about 2/3 full. Cover the canner and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Do not boil.
3. Set bands aside. They don’t require heating. Place lids in small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Do not boil.
4. Prepare the recipe.
Recipe for Crushed Tomatoes:
Tomatoes (about 3 lbs. per quart)
Bottled lemon juice
1. In small batches, put tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute or until skins start to crack. Immediately put them in cold water and slip off the skins. Remove cores and any bruises.
2. Quarter enough tomatoes to measure 2 cups. Put them in a large stainless steel saucepan and bring to a boil of med-high heat. Use a potato masher to crush the tomatoes. Gently boil and stir to prevent scorching. Quarter more tomatoes and add to the saucepan. You don’t need to crush the rest of the tomatoes, they will soften as the cook. Continue to cook until all tomatoes are added, then boil gently for 5 minutes.
3. Add 2 Tbsp. lemon juice and 1 tsp. salt to each quart jar before packing with tomatoes.
4. Pack hot tomatoes in jars with a 1/2 inch headspace at top of jar. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until it is fingertip-tight.
5. Place jars in canner. Make sure they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process quart jars for 45 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars and cool for 24 hours.
6. Remove screw bands and press down on center of each lid. Sealed lids will be concave and won’t move when pressed. If a jar did not seal properly, store in the fridge and use within a few days.
7. Label all jars with date and title, and store them in a cool, dry place. For best quality, use them within 1 year.