Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tomato Paste Making

Ah! I have been over run by tomatoes! Seriously, this radio flyer full of tomatoes represents the tail end of the tomato harvest. I ended up canning 35 quarts of whole tomatoes and STILL ended up with this wagon full. I turned these into paste and gave up on the rest. This year's growing season was rough but still rewarding. The paste making was completed in the beginning of September but I haven't had time to sit down and post. The tomatoes are running my life! LOL!
The photo of the wagon full of tomatoes shows them fresh from the vine. You'll notice many of them have some shades of green. The bugs were so bad this year and rain so sporadic that I harvested the tomatoes as soon as they had shades of red in them. They ripened up just fine inside the house. Otherwise, the bugs would've chewed them to bits or they would've split during the next rain.
After they got red and soft, we dropped them in a boiling water bath until the skins split and then dropped them in ice water so that we could slip the skins off. In order to make paste we then pulled the seeds out of them. This was done easily in the Amish Paste Tomatoes but not so easily in the Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes. I think I will grow some Amish Paste Tomatoes next year just for the sole purpose of making paste. As you can see, that whole wagon full filled up this plastic tub. I think the tub represents a few gallons. If the tub began to fill up with water that the tomatoes weeped, we'd pour that off and add more tomatoes.
I finally got smart this year. Last year, my sister and I canned some paste and I rendered the tomatoes down on the stove. It took hours under a low burner. I was so busy this year I didn't have time and also the waste of having a propane burner on for hours seemed ridiculous to me. I whipped my slow cooker off the shelf and gave that a shot. I let it cook all day with the lid off and it worked like a charm. The tomatoes rendered down nicely. They don't look so hot in the blender but once they've been given a spin:
This velvety rich tomato paste rolls out of the blender and is better than anything the supermarket is going to try to sell you! The flavor is incredible! I ended up freezing mine but if I grow enough next year I'll probably try to can it.

No comments:

Post a Comment