Over the last few years in September, I select the freshest tomatoes I can find at the market and I put them in jars. Because I love it too much! Having fresh tomatoes all year round is one the greatest pleasures in life, and you’ll know it when you open your jar full of sunshine on a dark cold winter night. ! can assure you that it is easy and not too long to do. In total, it takes me less than 2 hours for a dozen of jars and 20 pounds of fresh organic tomatoes that cost me 17$. A small investment for a full season of quality ingredients in my cooking, plus pleasure for my taste buds.
What you need
-A box of 12 jars, especially designed for preserves, any size you like
-A large canning kettle, with canning rack – easy to find this time of year, in any good hardware store
– Tongs that are made especially for removing jars from boiling water – do not skip that indispensable accessory, for about $7.95, you won’t regret it
– A box of fresh tomatoes and a large enthusiastic smile
1. Boil the tomatoes
In a large pan, boil the tomatoes for about 2 or 3 minutes or until the skin starts to break
2. Sterilize the jars and lids
While the tomatoes are cooling off, boil water in the large preserves pot (half full of water) and let the jars and their lids soak in that boiling water, for about 10 minutes.
3. Remove the skin from the tomatoes and fill the jars
When the tomatoes have cooled off, it becomes easy to remove their skin and stems. Then, you can either cut them in pieces or put them as a whole in the sterilized jars.
When the jars are filled with the tomatoes and their juices, when each and every jar is wiped off of any tomato or juice that may have dripped, you can put the snap lids on the gently screw on the metal rings until ‘finger tight’ – not tightly fasten.
Then, put the jars in the canning rack and immerse them in the hot boiling water. Make sure that all lids are covered with water and let it boil for about 45 minutes.
5. Cool off period: 24 hours
Remove the jars from the big pot with the tongs and let them cool off for at least 24 hours, before storing them. You will hear a “pop” sound for each jar, indicating that the lid has sealed properly and that your preserving was a success!
Believe me, you will feel like the happiest and most privileged person this winter, when you taste the best tomatoes of the summer!