Take note that these tomatoes aren’t perfectly whole. We crush them a bit while packing into the jars to generate enough liquid to submerge the flesh. Sometimes it’s also necessary to cut a tomato into thirds or halves in order to finish off a jar and retain the proper amount of headspace.
“Paste” tomatoes (ie: meatier tomato varieties like San Marzano, Amish Paste, or Romas) or Early Girls (which are a California favorite but have a high water content and lots of seeds - use a Food Mill!)
1 tsp sea salt Optional 2 garlic cloves, basil, oregano or thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt Optional 1 garlic clove, basil, oregano or thyme
Boil water in a medium sized pot. Core tomatoes using a paring knife and slice an X in the bottoms. Drop a handful of tomatoes at a time into the boiling water for 60-90 seconds (or until the skin is easy to peel). Using a slotted spoon, move blanched tomatoes to an ice water bath and remove skins. (Don't toss the skins! Save them for the dehydrator, they make great tomato powder.) Pack peeled tomatoes into clean jars, gently crushing them so they fit tightly and release some of their juices. Fill until about 1/2 inch from the top of the jar. If your tomatoes did not yield enough juice to cover the last tomato, crush a couple tomatoes by hand and top off your jars so there's enough liquid to cover.
Pour your acid of choice over the top of the tomatoes, then use a chopstick to stir out air bubbles and help the acid distribute throughout the jar. Wipe the rim of the jars clean with a damp towel. Place new canning lids and rings on jars. Lightly affix rings "finger tight" (not too tight, as oxygen must be able to escape during water bath, but not too loose, or your lids will come off!).
Bring water in canning pot to a full boil. Lower jars into the boiling water on a canning rack using a canning jar lifter and/or heat protective gloves. Make sure jars are covered by 1 inch of water on top. Allow canning pot water to return to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Process for 85 minutes for both pints and quarts. Carefully remove jars and place on a towel or wire rack until cooled completely. If using standard Ball Jars, check after 12 hours for a proper seal by pressing on the lid. The lid should be sucked down and not pop up when pressed.