All I want to do is encourage you to can up some tomatoes this summer and show you how easy it is. So, in a series of bouncy bumpy, goofy videos, available on Instagram and Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen on FaceBook, I’ll show you the way. I tried to load them here, but technology won and I lost. It was just too complicated.
I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it every year. If you do no other canning all year, can tomatoes now, while they are abundant and local. It will take three hours or so, a good part of it waiting for the canner. The more people the better – get your friends to help. One person can definitely crush 25 pounds. Two people can easily do 50 pounds and when you get three or four people, it’s a breeze to can 100 pounds or more.
Makes 7 to 8 quarts, 14 to 16 pints, or any combination
15 pounds red firm ripe tomatoes, about 30 Citric Acid or about 16 lemons
Set up your canning kettle, jars, lids and rings. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Make an X in the base of each tomato. Dunk the tomatoes in the boiling water for a minute or two to blanch the skin and make peeling a breeze. Pull them out and drop them in a bowl of ice water. (Use a cooler if you don’t have a huge bowl.)
When all the tomatoes have been dunked, it’s time to get messy. Cut out the core, remove the peel and squeeze out the seeds and gel. Tear the meaty parts of the tomato into 2 inch pieces. Measure as you go.
When four cups of the tomatoes are torn and prepped, add to a large, non-reactive pot (8 quart minimum). As each quart goes into the pot, crush the tomatoes with a potato masher. They’ll get juicier.
Bring to a boil before adding the next quart of tomatoes. When all the tomatoes have been crushed and heated, boil the mixture for five minutes, continuing to crush with the masher.
Ladle into the jars to a 1/2 inch headspace. Add 1/2 teaspoon citric acid to each quart (1/4 teaspoon to each pint). If using lemon juice, add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to each quart (1 tablespoon to each pint).
Run a bubbler through and around the tomatoes, clean the rims of the jars, place the lids and rings and process in the boiling water canner for 45 minutes for quarts, 35 minutes for pints. Remove the jars after processing, placing them on a towel on the counter and letting them cool entirely.
Wash the jars well when cool and store in a cool, dark place for up to one year.