Hi, Folks -
My tomatoes did well this year, thank goodness.
This is Southern California coastal.
The cherry tomatoes really went ape. (That they
are next to the compost heap may be a factor!)
I canned some regular tomatoes earlier this year.
Now wondering if anyone has experience/comment
on whether cherry tomatoes are good for canning.
If so, would you can whole, or puree, or...?
Thanks for advice.
We had an abundance in cherry tomatoes one year and used them to make tomato
juice, which we canned. The juice tasted fine, although it was sweeter than
our usual tomato juice because they were one of the super-sweet varieties.
The one problem we encountered was that the juice was more watery than our
usual tomato juice. We haven't canned any since, but I would suggest cooking
them longer so that more of the liquid evaporates.
I really can't imagine using them in any other way. Trying to peel them for
whole tomatoes would take forever, and leaving the skins on unreasonable
because the skins are usually very tough.
I have a couple of Roma plants that I use primarily for sauce, but when all
the other plants go wild, and produce more than I can eat fresh, what's left
goes into the sauce, too.
I don't peal or seed any tomatoes before making sauce. I do cut-out hard
cores and scabby skin from the heirlooms. Big tomatoes get cut in half (or
thirds or quarters), but otherwise they all go into the food processor until
it looks like a soupy, pale salsa. I simmer at 195-200 degrees until about
1/4 or 1/3 of the volume cooks-off, and the hot mix looks like a lumpy
sauce -- usually about 24-36 hours for my three gallon kettle. The mix is
then cooled in an ice bath, and run through the blender to smooth it.
Yeah, two trips through appliances sounds like a lot of work. The dishwasher
gets full pretty fast. But it's still easier -- and quicker -- than pealing
and seeding tomatoes. And more of the vegetable goes into the sauce than
into the compost pile.
Even though I never have the same mix of varieties of tomatoes in each batch
I make, the differences in the finished sauce are no different than what
you'd get from two different brands of canned sauce. It's all good by the
time it's cooked down, and when I actually use it, it'll get seasoned to
I freeze my sauce, so I don't have to worry about the acidity level as much
as I would if I canned it. If your mix is too many super-sweet cherry
tomatoes, you may want to add some lemon juice or vinegar to raise the
acidity level before canning.
I like to dry them (dehydrators are fairly inexpensive and
should last for many years). I cut them in half and lay
them on the racks. Dried cherry tomatoes are sweet enough
to eat out of hand, but also have that concentrated dried
tomato tang. Love them added to spinach and feta omelets!
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
On 9/26/05 6:28 AM, in article email@example.com, "Pat
I use dried tomatoes as the base "sauce" for a quick pasta meal. I'll start
with olive oil, some garlic, the tomatoes and go from there. Trader Joe's
frozen artichokes, capers, spinach, Swiss chard, hot Italian sausage
(leftovers), lots of things work. Just toss in a fry pan and go. I add a
little of the pasta water if I have it, otherwise, tap water works. Toss in
the pasta to warm it up and delish. Doesn't even need cheese! just a grind
of salt and pepper.
I was going to second Cheryl's suggestion-- but I'll 'third' yours.
I didn't even plant Cherry Tomatoes this year, but I've dried the
excess in the past. I had a bunch of extra Sweet 100's this year
and dried them. . . .. candy.
Cherry tomatoes are so easy to do, too. Cut them in half & leave
them. I have trouble with thre romas sticking sometimes, but not the
little tomatoes that are put in the drier skin side down. I've
seen the dehydrators at garage sales for $5. [if your oven can be set
to 120-140 F, that would work, too, for a cookie sheet full of tomato
I guarantee that if you try them once you'll dry more and more
tomatoes every year. Aside from tasting great, it is the
easiest, cheapest and most space efficient way of putting tomatoes up.
[I use mine in sauces, as snacks all by themselves, and to stiffen up
my home made salsa that gets a little watery in the canning process.]
OK, OK, you guys (almost) have me talked into it. But my wall ovens
are kaput, and my toaster oven only goes down to 150.
a. Is that too high? What if i leave the door cracked open?
b. If OK to proceed, how long do I leave the tomatoes in there?
c. After they're done, how do I store them?
I might be tempted to put a trouble light with a 100watt bulb in one
of those 'kaput' ovens. Crack the door.
At 150 with the door cracked it should work.
Many variables-- but I'd put them in early on a day that you can
check them every couple hours. [if you only sleep 4-5 hours, you'll
probably be fine putting them in before you go to bed] Once they
get past a certain point they go from soft leather to flint very
quickly. I like mine best at the stiff leather stage. Halved
cherries have the advantage of being pretty uniform in size and having
skin attached to all pieces so it is easier to get a whole batch done
I store mine in a ziploc bag or canning jar. After a couple weeks
or so I put them in the freezer. The freezer might be an excess of
caution, but I would hate to lose a bagful to mold & I have the space
in my freezer. They keep for years in the freezer if they get lost.
More info here-
[that slow-roasting looks yummy- but I think my tomatoes are done for
Note that they use a 200 degree oven-- and place their halved cherries
with the sliced side down. I salt mine lightly & put them skin side
down so they don't stick.
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