This is a "hot pack" method for canning whole tomatoes. Compared to a raw-pack method for Canning Whole Tomatoes, this style has a shorter canning time due to the fact that the tomatoes are cooked.
“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, sprigs of basil, oregano or thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt Optional 1 garlic clove, sprig of 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.) Moving quickly, tear/ crush the tomatoes by hand and put them into a pot. Add enough tomatoes to cover the bottom and heat gently to a low boil.
While the first batch comes to a low boil, blanch and peel the next round of tomatoes. Tear/ crush into quarters stirring the into the simmering pot of tomatoes. Try to maintain a slow and steady boil throughout. Repeat until all the tomatoes have been added to the pot. Gently boil the tomatoes for 5 minutes longer, stirring periodically.
Meanwhile prepare your clean jars with your acid of choice and salt (if using).
Using a funnel, ladle the hot sauce into your jars leaving 1/2 " of headspace. If necessary, 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 35 minutes for pints; or 45 minutes for 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.
Recipe inspired by Kevin West's in his book Saving the Season.