There is really nothing like a jar of good homemade canned tomatoes. No tinny taste and totally preservative free. It’s a great way to use an over-abundance of home grown tomatoes and in my case, end of the season Florida tomatoes purchased from a local veggie vendor.
I used 30lbs of Tomatoes and yielded 8 quarts of preserves. They really do shrink a lot, but with this method you get a lot of tomatoes and not a lot of water. Tomatoes are full of water and I try to drain out as much as I can before packing,
This would be considered a raw-pack method. USDA says that you should hot-bath process then for 80 minutes with lemon juice and I process mine for 55, without. If you feel safer, please follow USDA rules:
Prepare your jars. Wash your jars in soapy hot water and inspect the tops for any chips or cracks. Fill a large canning bath with water and bring to a simmer. Keep the boil up by adding in more water. – You want it to be at boiling point when you add the jars for processing.
Sterilize your jars: I usually put about 4 inches of water into a large roastpan and bring it to a boil. Bring it down to a simmer and sit the jars upside down in the pan and let them sit in there for at least 10 minutes. Add your lids also.
Add a scant tablespoon of Pickling or Kosher Salt to the bottom of the jar. Take the tomatoes and fill the jar, pressing down and ensuring there are no air pockets. When the jar is filled, run a knife around the outside to free any trapped air pockets. Keep filling to the top leaving about ½ inch headspace.
When the jars are filled, run a clean cloth around the rim of the jar to ensure there are no loose seeds, residue etc.. Place a sterilized lid on top and hand secure the band…not too tight.
Lift the jars out of the water with a jar grip and let them cool on a towel, without touching or bumping in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it.
I just opened a jar to make this ridiculously simple dish and the flavor is out of this world. You forget, when you've been using tinned tomatoes how good a home preserved tomato can be! I just chopped them and added them raw into hot macaroni and mmmmmmmm!
I used the recipe critterologist had posted on DG as a guideline, but really just kinda winged it. I had a boatload of tomatoes last year, and just cut them into big pieces and filled a Dutch oven till slightly mounded. I added some coursely chopped onions, garlic cloves, and salt, and roasted at 400F, stirring occasionally- you'll see the edges on top blacken slightly in the roasting process, so I like to stir that in from time to time to avoid burning any on top, and to expose more tomatoes to develop that wonderful roasted flavor. Once they had reduced by about half, I added more tomatoes till mounded again, and popped them back in the oven for a few hours, till reduced down again.
Then I just ran it through the blender and froze it (it can be canned too). The sugars in the fruit caramelize in the process, and that rich, condensed tomato flavor is sooooo good! I made a batch that I added various peppers to, which was good too. I didn't even peel the tomatoes, once run through the blender, I couldn't even tell they were there.