Tuesday, 4 March 2014
preserving tomatoes in a fowlers vacola
In the garden clean up over the weekend, clearing these tomato vines was a top priority. They were absolutely loaded with tomatoes and I wanted to save as much of that fruit as possible. There's no way we could eat all of those fresh. I wasn't going to waste them though, so out came my Fowlers Vacola!
I was pressed for time processing these, so I took a few shortcuts, but they still worked out just fine.
Normally when bottling plain tomatoes, we would do them whole or as passata. Doing them whole involves removing the skins first before crushing, which is quite time consuming. Passata also requires time as you remove the seeds and skins, usually by running tomatoes through a food mill.
This cutting corners method is really fast. It does mean you keep the seeds and skins, although the skins are so crushed they're hard to spot. Seeds or no seeds, more tomatoes on our pantry shelf are always appreciated! I'll be adding these to curries in winter, where I doubt anyone would notice the seeds anyway.
Shortcut method to preserving tomatoes
1. Wash tomatoes well.
2. Blitz tomatoes in food processor (This step crushes most of the skins, but you'll be left with the seeds).
3. Pour processed tomatoes into big pot and cook for about 10 mins. (You can actually skip this step and pour the uncooked tomatoes directly into your jars. I like to cook them for a few minutes as it brings out the juices and removes a lot of the air bubbles. It makes them process nicely as well).
4. Pour into your jars with enough lemon juice added to each jar (you'll need to check lemon juice requirements for the jar size you are using. Citric acid can be used in place of lemon juice, but I find this gives a really sour/harsh taste that I don't like as much).
5. Add rings and clips to jars and process according to your official guidelines.
See, how simple is that?