If you want to enjoy cherry tomato sauce after the summer growing season has passed, then there’s no secret to how it’s done! You can do canning!
This preserves it without having to visit the nearby store in the off-season months.
Every growing season, I get an influx of cherry tomatoes. I turn them into a delicious sauce and can them by using a water bath canner or roasting method. This infuses a caramelized and intense taste.
In this read, I’ll talk about:
- Cherry tomato sauce canning
- How you can do this task without much effort (trust me!)
- The best cherry tomato canning recipe (I actually share two, not just one, my amigos)
- Any pitfalls and how to prevent them
What can I do with an abundance of cherry tomatoes?
So you’ve grown cherry tomatoes in your home garden, got a fruitful crop, and now you are confused about what to do about it.
Join the club.
A quick thought here! Make a sauce out of these cherry tomatoes and can them.
Well, canning cherry tomato sauce helps you preserve the essence and scrumptious taste of your homegrown cherry tomatoes (especially when you cannot grow them off-season).
Besides that, trust me when I say nothing brings the same satisfaction as knowing you prepared your cherry tomato sauce from scratch.
You get to play with the spice level or, on the contrary, go down the mild road if this suits your tastebuds. Whatever floats your boat, my friends.One more thing – you’ll be saving a lot by making your cherry tomato sauce and canning it at home.
What is the best way to can and preserve cherry tomato sauce?
Are you wondering about the right way to preserve that delicious goodness in a luscious cherry tomato sauce? Well, I’ll share not one but two recipes with you, so let’s get started!
1. Canning Sauce From Fresh Cherry Tomatoes
While the process of fresh cherry tomato canning is super easy (trust me, peeps), you have to give complete attention to the process to avoid any spoilage.
First things first, gather all the necessary ingredients and supplies:
- Cherry Tomatoes – washed with no stem
- Onion – chopped or diced
- Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Cilantro, or Garlic
- Bay leaf
- Salt and lemon juice
- Canning jars – pint or quart size
- Tomato strainer
- Canner pot and tray
Once you have everything at hand, it’s about time to create a mouthwatering sauce.
Put the tomatoes in the pan, along with chopped onion and any of your favorite herbs, and simmer them in hot water for 5-10 minutes to release all their juicy flavors.
Next up, drain all the water from the cherry tomatoes and pass the mix through the strainer to remove all the skin. Now collect the pulp separately in a bowl.
There is more to do! Put the jars in the canner pot with the canner tray at the bottom, add enough water to cover them by 1-2 inches, and boil for 10 minutes for sterilization.
Here comes the filling part! Carefully take out the jars from the canner and let them cool down for some time. Add a bay leaf to each canning jar and fill the jars with your cherry tomato sauce, leaving some headspace at the top.
Don’t forget the preservatives! Add salt and lemon to the sauce, then tightly close the lid and put the jars back into the canner to process them for 40-45 minutes.
Remove the jars from the canner, wait for them to cool down, write down the preservation date, and store them in your freezer for 3-6 months.
2. Canning Sauce From Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
If you want to add a caramelized taste to your sauce, then the roasted tomatoes method is perfect for you, which takes their natural sweetness to a whole new level!
To begin with, gather the following ingredients and supplies you’ll need for this process:
- Cherry Tomatoes – Washed with no stem
- Olive oil
- Sprig of Thyme or rosemary
- Red pepper flakes
- Onion diced
- Minced garlic
- Oven – preheated at 400 ℉
- Baking tray or pan
- Canning jars – sterilized
First, spread the cherry tomatoes on a baking pan and drizzle some olive oil to lightly coat them. Next up, pop the pan into a preheated oven at 400 ℉ for 25 – 30 minutes until they are caramelized.
Now take a few moments to let those roasted tomatoes cool down slightly before making the sauce for canning.
Heat ¼ cup of virgin olive oil in a saucepan over a medium flame, toss in some diced onions and cook them for 4-5 minutes. Then add minced garlic and wait for the mixture to turn golden.
Here comes the main step!
Put the roasted tomatoes into the pan, throw in a sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme, or maybe a few red pepper flakes if you like a little kick.
Cover the pot with the lid and let the mixture simmer for 20-30 minutes on low heat.
Wait for the cherry tomatoes cool for 10-15 minutes, and process the mix in a blender until it reaches the desired smoothness and thick texture. So good!
Congratulations, it’s canning time!
Fill your sterilized pint or quart jars with the roasted tomato sauce, but be sure to leave some space at the top. Finally, keep them in the refrigerator for a week or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Why do my canned tomatoes taste sour?
Let me address a bit of a common issue.
If your canned tomato sauce tastes sour, this happens when you keep the preservative jars in the water bath canner for too long after canning or covering them with a towel.
The residual heat leads Bacillus genus bacteria to ferment it in a way that produces a sour taste. Yuck!
To prevent this unwanted flavor, remove the jars from the canner as soon as the timer goes off and let them cool down before storing them in the freezer.
What happens if you don’t put lemon juice in canned tomatoes?
People have canned tomato sauce without lemon juice or citric acid for centuries. However, the acidity level has changed over the years, and USDA recommends adding it to increase the margin of safety.
This is because if you don’t add the lemon juice while canning the cherry tomato sauce, you’ll increase the chances of the growth of harmful bacteria called Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism.
This condition might result in serious health issues, including:
- Muscular paralysis
- Breathing problems
- Blurred or double vision
- Drooping eyelids
There you go, comrades! In this article, I’ve shown you two different methods for cherry tomato sauce canning to enjoy for the next few months!
Whether you like the vibrant tang of fresh cherry tomatoes or the intensified and caramelized sweetness of roasted ones, both methods will help you can the best batch of sauce you’ve ever had.