Easy Tomato Purée and Sauce

Try this simple, no-cook method for making tomato purée, sauce and juice.
August/September 2012
http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/tomato-puree-zm0z12aszhun.aspx
Whip up fresh tomato purée from surplus summer tomatoes — no canning required.


PHOTO: FOTOLIA/KAMILA CYGANEK

For the past 40 years, I’ve been making tomato juice and tomato purée using a deep freezer and minimal cooking.

When my excess tomatoes ripen in late August and I’m too busy to deal with them, I clean them, remove bad spots, and freeze them whole in their skins on a tray before bagging and storing them in the freezer.

When I have time to deal with the tomatoes, I decide how many I want to process, then dip the frozen balls in warm water and slip off the skins. I stack them in a dishpan and let them thaw for half a day. As the frozen tomatoes thaw, they release their juice as an almost colorless liquid. I dip this liquid out and it makes the best, freshest-tasting tomato juice ever (with or without salt added). This can be frozen or stored in the fridge for four to five days.

I drain the tomatoes until they become the consistency of sauce or purée. Then I run this mass through a blender and cook it for a few minutes before refreezing. I don’t remove the seeds, as I think they add food value to the tomato purée, but you can strain them out after a few minutes of cooking if you like. This is also a great way to make use of tomatoes that otherwise may not look the best for sale at your farmers market — and no canning necessary.

Jim Schmitt
Forest Grove, Pennsylvania