Want to preserve these wonderful tomatoes from your garden or the one you bought and loved so much? This is so easy you won’t believe it. I am using here the cherry tomatoes we grew in our garden. After the amount I eat when I come back from work I am still amazed at how many pots of preserves I managed to make, and the season is not over yet!
Home grown equals great flavours, and these cherry tomatoes are sweet and juicy. But as for fruits, the more you cook tomatoes the more you loose these great flavours. Even though tomatoes are fruits, they have far less sugar than “normal” fruits. This is a problem for preserving in itself as sugar is the main agent causing the death of the micro organisms that would otherwise grow on your jams (for the scientists, adding extra sugar or salt will create a high osmotic pressure with the low salt/sugar concentration inside the bacteria cell, and it will basically suck out all the water from the bacteria cell and dry it to death- charming and efficient). If you want to preserve your tomatoes for a long time (more than 6 months), you should dehydrate them by heating them up in a pan and reduce the juices as much as possible. THEN fill your clean jars and sterilise them, so you are technically cooking them twice and this will cause a dramatic loss in flavour.
My technique here means that you won’t be able to keep your cans for very long, but like me if you are not making tomato preserve on an industrial scale, it should help you to conserve the flavour of sumer for a few months for you spare tomatoes. And it is so easy you won’t believe it.
My grandma uses this technique for their home grown beef tomatoes, which are more fleshy and release less juices than the cherry tomatoes. Beef tomatoes also have a thicker skin so she tends to flash boil and peel them before doing the preserves. This technique is fabulous because, although you won’t be able to keep these pots for ages, they will still last throughout the cold months until you can find seasonal tomatoes again.
- as many tomatoes as you have
Freshly clean the jars with soap and rinse with hot water. Rinse and dry your cherry tomatoes well. Chop them in half and place them tightly in the jar, when you reach the top, push them with the back of a spoon down to pack them tightly together. Think Ryanair luggage. Add a sprinkle of salt and a teaspoon of sugar, close the lid tightly and give it a shake.Place the jars in a pan with water up to 3/4 of their height. Heat to boiling point and keep it boiling hard for 45 minutes. Then switch off the gas and let the jar cool down in the pan. This way, you have cooked AND sterilised your tomatoes in one go, preserving their flavour as much a possible for the next 6 months. This is already salted, so bear that in mind when you use them for pasta sauces, pizza or casseroles.