Canned Tomato Sauce
- Tomatoes, cored and quartered - For a thin sauce, you'll need an average of 35 pounds of tomatoes to produce 7 quart jars of sauce. For a thick sauce, you'll need an average of 46 pounds to yield 7 quart jars.
- Salt (optional)
- Fresh basil (optional)
Step 1: Wash jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse well. Keep Jars warm until ready to use to minimize risk of breakage when filling with hot tomato sauce. You can heat them in a pot of simmering water or in a heated dishwasher.
Step 2: Wash and sort tomatoes, removing any bruised or discolored product. Quarter tomatoes and place in a large stainless steel saucepan.
Step 3: Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir and crush tomatoes to release juices. Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft and juicy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Step 4: Working in batches, press tomatoes through a food mill to remove skins and seeds. Continue to run skins and seeds through the food mill until all juice is extracted and skins and seed mixture is dry. We ran our mixture through the food mill about 10 times.
Step 5: Return mixture to saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil until volume is reduced by at least one-third for a thin sauce. For a thicker sauce, cook until reduced by half. We reduced by one-third and made a thin sauce.
Step 6: Before filling each jar with tomato sauce, add 4 to 5 fresh basil leaves (optional) to each jar.
Step 7: Ladle hot sauce into prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
Step 8: Place jars on rack immediately after packing. Lower filled rack into canner. Fill the water bath canner with enough water so that the water level is 1 to 2 inches above the tops of jars.
Step 9: Bring to a boil and process quart jars for 40 minutes. When the water comes to a rolling boil, start to count the processing time. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars and keep jars separated to allow for air space.
Step 10: After jars have cooled, test for seal. To do this press down on the center of the lid. The lid should be con-caved and should not move when pressed. Another method is to tap the lid with the bottom of a teaspoon. If the jar is sealed correctly, it will make a high-pitched sound. If it makes a dull sound it means the lid is not sealed or possibly that food is in contact with the underside of the lid.
Step 11: Store jars in a cool dark, dry place.