As we trade in our shorts for sweaters with summer coming to a close, we also have to say goodbye to buying fresh tomatoes at the supermarket. But before the season ends, you can use this Martha Stewart method to preserve your in-season tomatoes for later this year.
Stewart shares that her favorite way to preserve her summer tomatoes is by making a batch of marinara sauce to store away for a comforting meal during the cold winter months.
America’s favourite chef uses a water bath canning method, which requires clean and sterilized canning supplies. You’ll need a quart or pint-sized jars, a paring knife, a pot, a stainless steel straight spatula, a wide-mouth funnel, and tongs or clamps.
You’ll also need a bowl of ice, salt, and citric acid, as well as your tomatoes.
In just 19 steps (it’s not as much as it sounds), you will be stocked all winter long with Stewart’s homemade tomato sauce.
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How to make Martha Stewart’s tomato sauce
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. While doing so, prepare an ice bath for your produce.
2. Wash and drain your tomatoes before starting the scoring and blanching technique.
3. First you need to score, which entails cutting a shallow X into the bottom of each tomato. This will help you peel the tomato skins later.
4. Put your tomatoes into a pot of boiling water just long enough for the skin to soften and loosen. This should take about 30 seconds.
5. Remove your tomatoes from the boiling water, and then submerge them in an ice bath.
6. Remove the peels, stems and seeds with a paring knife. Try to preserve the tomato juices in the process.
7. Put a half a teaspoon of salt, a quarter teaspoon of citric acid (or one tablespoon of lemon juice) into a sterilized pint jar. Make sure to adjust the measurements accordingly depending on your jar size.
8. Using a wide-mouth funnel, fill your jars with the tomatoes along with the remaining juices leftover from skinning your produce. Leave a half an inch of space at the top of each jar’s neck.
9. Using a stainless steel straight spatula, remove any air bubbles inside the jar. Make sure to lift and move the spatula around as opposed to running the spatula along the jar’s edges for the best results.
10. Wipe the jar rims with a damp towel to remove any seeds to flesh bits, which could prevent seals from forming.
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11. Place the tops and screw-on ring bands onto the jar until snug but not too tight. Make sure to keep air out.
12. Prepare a large pot with canning racks with approximately three inches of water. The water should be simmering.
13. Using tongs or canning jar clamps, place the jars on the raised rack in the pot. The jars should be spaced about an inch apart and should not touch the sides of the pot.
14. Add boiling water to cover, if needed, and then cover the pot.
15. Bring water to a rolling boil, then reduce to a gentle but steady boil.
16. Process the jars for 40 minutes for pints or 45 minutes for quarts. The jars must remain covered with water throughout the processing time.
17. When done, turn off the heat and let sit for five minutes before removing the jars. Don’t be alarmed if you hear the lids ping.
18. Remove the jars and place them upright on a dry towel or cooking rack no less than one inch apart. Stewart recommends letting them cool for 24 hours. Make sure to check after several hours to assure the lid is concave. If the lid pops back that means it is not sealed and will have to go through the process again.
19. Store your sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year. After opening, it can be refrigerated for up to one week. Make sure to label with dates for safety.
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