Canning whole tomatoes is a simple and rewarding process made even more so by good company. The steps involved make for great assembly-line work, so get your friends together and put ’em up!
For each 1-quart jar:
3 pounds plum tomatoes (such as Amish paste or Juliet)
2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice or
1/2 teaspoon citric acid
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1. Fill a clean cooler halfway with heavily iced water and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop tomatoes into boiling water, no more than 6 at a time, and return to a boil. Blanch until skins begin to loosen, 30 to 60 seconds.
2. Scoop tomatoes out of water with a slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice water. Continue blanching tomatoes in batches. Remove from ice bath and drain. Core tomatoes, then peel away skins with a paring knife.
3. Put lemon juice or citric acid and salt, if using, into clean, hot quart jars. Pack tomatoes into jars one at a time, pressing firmly enough to compress the hollow core and release enough juice to cover the tomato but not so hard that the fruit is crushed. Continue packing tomatoes in this manner, being careful to press out any air pockets. Tomatoes should be covered by 1/2 inch of their liquid. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid. Top with a little boiling water, if necessary, to achieve the proper headspace.
Use the boiling-water method. Release trapped air by stirring the contents with a plastic knife or wooden chopstick. Wipe rims clean; center lids on jars and screw on jar bands. Process in canner for 85 minutes. Turn off heat, remove canner lid, and let jars rest in water for 5minutes. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Makes 1 quart.
For more canning recipes, read the original article, “Put ‘Em Up! Easy Home Canning Recipes.”