Monday, August 23, 2010

Tomato Juice and Sauce

I spent a couple days this week up to my elbows in tomatoes. I had a 5 gallon bucket of Celebrity type tomatoes and another bucket of Roma tomatoes. I also went to a farmer's market to see what they had and bought five pounds of each type and got about three pounds out of my garden, which is coming along slowly thank you very much. I will stick with free tomatoes from now on. Apples on the other hand I will buy at the farmer's market since I don't have a free source of those.
Below is the first run of the Celebrity group.
I loaded and started the Steam Juicer, got the water bath canner ready to go, and got my jars and lids heated up.

After an hour this is what the tomatoes looked like.
About half way through I drained the juice out of the SJ and stirred up the tomatoes.
These jars are the results of the first pot of steam juicing. The pure tomato juice will be used for cooking. The clearest, which was drained before stirring the pulp, will probably be cooking water for pasta and the more pulpy post stirred drain will be in with a roast or soup that can do with a good tomato flavor.
After I got the juice jars boiling in the water bath and another load of tomatoes in the SJ I ran the tomato pulp through the strainer.
I only ran it through once because there was nothing left on the skins when I got done turning the crank. I need a square stainless steel pan to use instead of this big bowl, but it is the only one I had wide enough to catch the pulp and I didn't want to use the aluminum pan. There was about a half a spoon's depth in the middle of that bowl when I got done.
After I got done with all of the Celebrity tomatoes I added some green pepper, onion, garlic and some other spices to make spaghetti sauce. The instructions I had were not based on using the SJ so where it said to cook down until the right consistency, well, that was hardly necessary since I had already removed a majority of the juice.This sauce only spent time cooking down at all because I had to wait for the jars to finish cleaning and heating in the dishwasher. It was just about perfect from the beginning.
In the end I did four runs of the Celebrity tomatoes and got these results.
I got 13 quarts of tomato juice (two are in the fridge because they didn't seal) and 12 and a half pints of spaghetti sauce. I used the half pint on some twisty pasta for dinner. It was delicious!
The next day I did the Roma tomatoes. You can just about double everything in this last picture.
I got 11 more quarts of juice and 10 and a half pints of smashed tomato salsa with appropriate spices. We didn't get home early enough yesterday to try it, but it smells wonderful.
I was actually kind of disappointed in the Roma tomatoes. I thought they would put out a lot more pulp for sauce than they did. I got almost the same amount of juice and less pulp from the Romas if you figure in the amount of peppers and onions chunks that were added in when I made the salsa.
Oh well. It is all worth the effort to have them on the shelf. Now I need to use up the store bought stuff so that it doesn't go to waste sitting on the shelf while we eat the homemade sauce.
Next on the canning plan is eight pounds of Gala apples that need to be juiced and turned into apple butter. Should be interesting since there ought to be a lot less cook down time than I remember from when FabHub and I made it one time. That and no need to peel the apples. I do need to read the instructions about coring though. I know I can SJ them too, but will they go through the Victorio when they are steam softened? I have to look into that. The juice will probably end up in pint jars until I decide to turn it into jelly. I also have some peach juice to jelly. I might do some more grapes too. We drank the first run of grape juice. It was delicious.
After the apples I need to do some tomatoes the normal way to keep them in chunks for the soup stock recipe that Aunt Rose shared with me. I am waiting for my garden tomatoes to do that. I have a Celebrity, two Tree tomatoes and a yellow one of which I have seen no color yet. I should probably write down the plant dates next year so I can figure out when they should be ready.
So that is my tomato adventure so far this year. Has anybody else been putting up some tasty preserves?

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating! You definitely have the same sort of juicer that we have and here in Germany they are pretty common. But you are using it on a whole other level than us! I'm going to have to do some more research on using that sucker more! :) Putting you in my reader so I don't miss any more of your adventures with the the SJ!