Tomato Recipes

When you get a bumper crop of tomatoes, you may find that you just can't eat them quickly enough so you need to preserve them to use later. Here are some suggestions.

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Removing tomatoes skins

Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for about 1 minute. Take them out and put in cold water. You will find the skins are quite easy to peel off.

Freezing Tomatoes

Remove the skins from the tomatoes, chop them roughly, then put them in a pan. Bring them to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Leave them to go cold before putting them into either strong plastic bags (make sure there are no holes!) or freezer boxes. Seal, label and date and put into the freezer. These are ideal for flavouring casseroles and stews or using in pasta sauces instead of canned tomatoes.

Basic Tomato Sauce

6lbs ripe chopped tomatoes with skins removed

1 pint white vinegar
1 to 2 tsp salt
1 tsp allspice
1 to 2 tsp paprika
8oz sugar

While the vinegar is standing, put the tomatoes in a pan, bring to the boil until soft and pulpy. strain through a sieve (strainer) and put the smooth tomato pulp into a clean pan with the salt and paprika. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, add the sugar and spiced vinegar, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer until the mixture achieves the consistency of thick (whipping) cream. Pour into warmed, clean bottles. Seal with stoppers or screw caps.

If you want this sauce to keep, you need to sterilise it. If you have used pushed in stoppers, tie them on. With screwcaps, they should be tightened and then unscrewed by half a turn. Put slats of wood or thick folded newspaper or brown paper into a large deep pan. Put the bottles of sauce in the pan, separating them from each other and from the sides of the pan with thick folds of newspaper. Fill the pan with cold water. It should come to just below the stoppers or screwcaps. Heat the water until small bubbles are continuously rising from the bottom of the pan - that is a temperature of 77 deg C or 170 deg F. It will probably take about an hour. Keep the temperature constant for a further 30 minutes then take the bottles from the pan and tighten screwcaps and make sure stoppers are pushed in well. Make an airtight seal on them with a thin application of paraffin wax.

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Tomato Sauce
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Tomato Chutney

6 lbs ripe chopped tomatoes with skins removed
1 lb peeled and finely chopped onions
1/2 pint white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 to 2 tsp paprika
12oz sugar

Put the tomatoes and onion into a pan, bring to the boil then, stirring occasionally as needed, simmer until reduced to a thick pulp. Add half the white vinegar, salt and spices and bring back to the boil. Simmer until the mixture thickens. Add the remaining vinegar and sugar to the mixture, bring back to the boil again, simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves, then continue to simmer until it reaches the required consistency, still stirring from time to time - this should be quite thick and not at all runny.

Pot up in sterilised and warmed glass jar and cover with non metal lids -the acid in vinegar will attack metal. You can use either plastic screwtop lids or clear cellophane preserving covers. Wet them on one side then put them on the jar, wet side up. Use elastic bands or string to secure them. The seal should be airtight whether you use lids or cellophane covers.

Keep the chutney for at least 2 months before use to allow it to mature. If the jars are airtight and stored in cool dark conditions, they can last up to 2 or 3 years. Never use any preserves that have any mould in them.

Green Tomato Chutney

4lbs green chopped tomatoes with skins removed
1-1/2 lbs peeled and finely chopped onions
1 lb cooking (sour) peeled, cored and chopped apples
1 pt white vinegar
8oz raisins and/or sultanas
1oz root ginger
8 chillies
1 to 2 tsp salt
1 lb sugar

More on Tomatoes
Growing Tomatoes
Seeding and Planting Tomatoes
Tomato Pests & Disease
Troubleshoot Tomato Problems

Put the tomatoes, onions,apples and half the vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer until soft, stirring occasionally as needed. Put the ginger and chillies in a piece of muslin and tie. Hit them with a rolling pin (or other heavy object) to bruise and add to the mixture still in the muslin. Also add the raisins and/or sultanas. Bring back to the boil and simmer stirring from time to time as needed. When the mixture has thickened add the remaining vinegar, salt and sugar, bring back to the boil, stirring all the time. Reduce the heat when the sugar has dissolved and simmer until it reaches the right consistency.

Pot up as for Red Tomato Chutney above.

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