With the end of the summer season just slipping-by now, it's not uncommon to find many fruit stores selling giant crates of over-ripe tomatoes for next-to-nothing. I couldn't resist purchasing one of these boxes recently for a mere $12! There must have been around 8 kilos of bright red, delicious tomatoes inside. Happy bargain!
All parents know just how much tomato sauce kids can consume. My kids will eat ketchup daily, and with pretty-much everything too. They can easily consume a 2 litre bottle of sauce, probably weekly. Nothing beats the taste of genuine homemade sauce however and for the sake of pure enjoyment, I decided it was time to do some home canning while the opportunity presented itself.
Making tomato sauce at home is so easy. It is very rewarding and the taste is far-superior to anything available at the supermarket. My kids really like the taste of this homemade variety too. An added bonus.
Tomato sauce contains few ingredients but there are a couple of key ones which give the sauce its rich depth of flavour. This recipe uses tamarind puree and Sri Lankan Rapadura sugar. Both items are available in the international section of any supermarket.
It's not absolutely essential to use Rapadura sugar, but this will give the sauce a delicious caramel flavour. Rapadura sugar is made from the pure juice of sugar cane and is extracted without heat. It retains the rich molasses content. If you can't locate this type, feel free to use regular soft brown sugar, which will work fine too.
Home Made Tomato Sauce Recipe
Recipe yields four, 350 ml jars of tasty tomato sauce.
Preparation time: 10 mins.
Cooking time: 30 mins.
800 grams of tomatoes, halved
2 large brown onions, quartered
4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 tbsp. olive oil
200 grams tomato paste
120 grams tamarind paste
100 grams Rapadura sugar
80 grams of apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
1 tablespoon of salt.
Jars for bottling.
Toss the onions and garlic into your thermo and process on speed 5 for 3 seconds.
Scrape down the sides and add the olive oil, then cook for 3 minutes at 90 degrees on speed 1.
If using the traditional method, simply cook the chopped onion and garlic until translucent in a large pot.
To the thermo bowl (or saucepan), add all remaining ingredients. In the thermo, blend all the ingredients for around 30 seconds on speed 9, then cook the sauce for 30 minutes at 90 degrees on speed 3. At the end of the cooking time, give the sauce a final 30 second, high-speed blitz to eliminate any lumps.
For the traditional method, simply cover your saucepan, bring the contents to the boil and then turn down the heat, allowing the sauce to simmer for 30 minutes. Make sure you give it an occasional stir. When done, use a stick blender to puree the sauce to the desired consistency in preparation for bottling.
No matter which method you use to cook your tomato sauce, prepare your jars while the sauce cooks. Both need to be piping-hot to ensure the heat creates an air-tight seal during the canning process.
To sterilise jars: Wash jars in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Then place your upright jars and lids on an oven try and pop them into the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes.
While the jars are still hot, pour the hot sauce into each and screw the lids on tightly. Within 10-15 minutes, you will hear a popping sound as the jars form an air-tight seal from the heat. (Some may take longer.) Handle carefully and in good quality oven mitts.
Before storing any jars in your pantry (or other cool, dark place), make sure the jars are sealed well with inverted lids. Any that have failed to create an air-tight seal will need to be kept in the fridge and consumed within a couple of weeks.
If you are on the hunt for some decent preserving jars, the ones featured here are by Mad Millie and they are ideal. Otherwise, recycle jars from purchased pasta sauces and spreads with metal lids.
Feel free to experiment with this recipe to change the flavours. You might like to add a little chilli powder for example.
Home made tomato sauce will store for months in your pantry when preserved correctly. We have 24 jars to get through this winter! Yum!
Have you ever made tomato sauce?
Have you ever canned or bottled anything before? Feel free to share some ideas below.
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