Turn your tomato harvest into a fresh homemade tomato sauce that you can use in your favorite dishes throughout the year. How to Make and Can All-Purpose Tomato Sauce
You will need
- 45 pounds Tomatoes, cored
- 6 cups chopped yellow onion ( I suggest using a food processor or Chopper)
- 12 cloves of garlic
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons of Ball® Citric Acid or lemon juice per quart jar
- ¼ Cup Sea Salt
- Dried herbs (optional)
- Ball® Pints (16 oz) or Quart (32 oz) jars
- Water Bath Canner or Ball® freshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner + Multicooker
Making the All-Purpose Tomato Sauce
- Prepare canner, jars, and lids. Tomato sauce can be safely canned in a water bath canner. No need to use a pressure canner.
- Wash and sort tomatoes, removing any that are bruised or discolored. Quarter the tomatoes and place in a large stainless steel sauce saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Using a potato masher, crush tomatoes to release juices, stirring constantly. While maintaining a boil and stirring to prevent burning, quarter additional tomatoes, adding them to the saucepan as you work. Make sure the mixture continues to boil vigorously while you add, stir and crush the remaining tomatoes. When all tomatoes have been added, boil, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft and juicy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil in a large pot. Add the tomatoes, pepper, and salt. Bring to a simmer and allow to reduce by at least one-third for a thin sauce. For a thicker sauce, cook until reduced by half. If you are using very juicy tomatoes, this can take 4-5 hours.
- Working in batches, press tomatoes through a fine sieve, food mill or Victorio strainer to remove skins and seeds. Discard skins and seeds.
- Return mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.
Canning the All-Purpose Tomato Sauce
Before filling each jar with tomato sauce, add lemon juice or citric acid to the hot jar in the quantity specified below:
Pint: ¼ tsp Ball® Citric Acid or 1 Tbsp bottled lemon juice
Quart: ½ tsp Ball® Citric Acid or 2 Tbsp bottled lemon juice
- Add dried herbs (optional) to each jar.
- Ladle the hot tomato sauce into prepared jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot sauce. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.
- Place jars in the canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process pint jars for 35 minutes and quart jars for 40 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, and store. For each quart jar of thin sauce, you'll need about 5lbs of tomatoes.
Peeling the Tomatoes
You do not need to peel the tomatoes for this recipe. When the sauce is blended all tomato skins will be pulverized. If you find that some peel is left behind you can quickly run it through a food mill or sieve. This will also remove any seeds that may remain. If you would prefer to peel the tomatoes we do have step-by-step instructions and a video in our article: How to Easily Remove the Skin from Tomatoes.
How To Prevent Siphoning when Canning
- Preventing Siphoning - Considerable pressure builds up inside jars of tomatoes and other home-canned foods while they are being heat-processed. Improper packing and processing procedures can lead to liquid loss, or siphoning, which, in turn, can lead to seal failure. Seal failure is caused when food particles pass between the sealing compound and the rim of the jar, preventing formation of a secure seal. Siphoning is a greater danger when you are processing jars with larger volumes. To prevent siphoning, first, make sure to follow headspace guidelines precisely. When packing whole foods such as tomatoes, peaches, and pickles into jars, pack them firmly, but not too tightly. Food expands when heated and can "boil over" if too tightly packed, causing siphoning. To prevent siphoning in a pressure canner, monitor the pressure closely during processing, making only gradual adjustments to the heat level. Allow the pressure canner to cool completely and naturally before releasing the lid. Once the lid is removed, let the jars cool inside the pressure canner for a further 10 minutes. In either case, when removing jars, be sure to lift them straight up, without tilting, and cool them upright, undisturbed, for 24 hours.
Freezing Tomato Sauce
When the sauce has cooled, seal the container and freeze. BPA-free plastic containers, resealable plastic freezer bags, or freezer-proof glass jars work great for freezing the sauce. Using plastic bags is the easiest and fastest when it comes to thawing; they also stack nicely in a wire freezer basket. Jars and plastic containers offer a little more protection against freezer burn, so they are better for longer-term freezing. The sauce will last for at least a year in the freezer.
Tips for making homemade tomato sauce
- For a thin sauce, you'll need an average of 35 lbs of tomatoes to produce 7-quart jars of sauce. If you prefer a thick sauce, you'll need an average of 46 lbs to yield 7-quart jars. For each jar, add the lemon juice or citric acid, then the salt and dried herbs, if using. Then ladle in hot sauce as indicated in Step 8 and place the jar in the canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
- Finally, be careful to follow the correct heating and cooling procedures associated with processing. To prevent siphoning in a boiling-water canner, when the processing time has been completed, turn the heat off, remove the canner lid and wait 5 minutes, then remove jars.
If you are new to canning be sure to read or article: Canning 101.