Easy Tomato Purée and Sauce

Try this simple, no-cook method for making tomato purée, sauce and juice.

Tomato Puree

Whip up fresh tomato purée from surplus summer tomatoes — no canning required.

PHOTO: FOTOLIA/KAMILA CYGANEK

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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

tomm
10/14/2013 9:34:47 AM

I do the same thing as LAVANIA COOK but I use a food processor and I don't strain the mixture. I also add a teaspoon of non-iodized salt to each quart. I sometimes throw in herbs from my garden in the food processor. This year I tried something different, I used a slow cooker and cooked the mixture all night on low. The end result was a thicker sauce with less work.


lavania cook
9/30/2012 3:40:59 AM

Here is my way of processing tomatoes, I core and take the bad spots off and put into a blender and blend until it is all juicy. Then I pour that into a cone collander and squeeze out what doesn't beat up in the blender, mainly the seeds and some skins. Then I bring all of that to a rolling boil and stir in the foam, don't remove it. Cook for a while and it will get thickened somewhat, then pour boiling juice into sterile jars and seal tight. Now I don't process as everything is so hot. It will seal it self. Lavania