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Watery tomato sauce....

Discussion in 'The Harvest: Recipes, Canning, Preserving' started by Hooligan, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. Aug 13, 2010
    Hooligan

    Hooligan Sprout

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    OK so today I put up my 1st batch of tomato sauce and it's really watery. What did I do wrong? Should I have simmered/boiled it longer to cook some of the moisture out? I used mostly Roma tomatoes but there were a few of my early girls in there So I was thinking that might account for some of the moisture but sheesh! I quartered all my tomatoes and ran them through a "Squeezo" and put all the puree into a pot and simmered it for about an hour or so then processed it in a water bath for 30 minutes. I don't have a pressure canner so it's nothing fancy just straight up sauce but it's so watered down I'm afraid it won't taste good in my recipes. What did I do wrong? Should I have strained everything that came out of the squeezo? This is my first stab at this and I really would like to get better at it...any advice or suggestions are welcome! Thanks!

    ~Hooligan
     
  2. Aug 13, 2010
    lesa

    lesa Garden Master

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    The sauce should be fine. When you are ready to use it, you'll just have to cook it down a little more. If you want it thicker right out of the jar, cook it longer. It is not going to be the consistency of jar sauce in the store- but I promise it will be delicious!
     
  3. Aug 13, 2010
    vfem

    vfem Garden Addicted

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    I cooked mine down, nice and slow in the slow cooker for 6 hours. It was abit watery, so I made a rue on the stove of 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp flour and added that to the sauce, waited 30 minutes and PERFECT! :)

    I refuse to use canned paste to mess with it. Paste tomatoes from my garden, or a rue. ;)
     
  4. Aug 13, 2010
    journey11

    journey11 Garden Master

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    Yeah, the early girls might have given you more moisture to deal with. But in the long run, it's all good! It also helps to put the tomatoes straight into the pot (remove blossom ends and cores, then quarter)--toss them in skins and all. You would not believe how much good stuff and deep red color come off of those peels. Then puree a bit and run them through a food mill after you've simmered them down tender. Then simmer more to get it thick. Regular tomatoes (not paste tomatoes) just take longer...but the flavor can be worth it!
     
  5. Aug 13, 2010
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    I do it a lot like Journey, but a little different. I freeze tomatoes until I have enough for a batch then put fresh ones and the frozen ones in the stock pot and start cooking them down. If you thaw frozen tomatoes the skin will slip right off but I don't bother too much with that. Before I freeze them I usually quarter and core them and cut out any bad spots I don't want in my sauce, like split areas or places where something has been nibbling on the tomato and it has gone off in that immediate area. There is usually a lot of good tomato left after trimming.

    While you are cooking them down, most of the skins will separate from the tomatoes and will work their way to the top while you are stirring the pot to keep them from sticking. If you are careful, you can remove most of the skins before you put them through a food mill but be careful. It does get hot. I cook them down until most ofthe skin has separated before I run them through the food mill. The food mill will get the ones you miss, but if you can remove most of them you spend less time cleaning out your food mill. After I've removed the skins and seeds with the mill, I put them back into the stock pot to cook down. When you get to a catsup consistency, that is puree. You can keep going to get to a sauce consistency if you want, but keep stirring to keep it from sticking. I'm not sure how the Squeezo works with hot food since it has rubber and nylon parts. I'd be a bit concerned with hot food in that thing, but I am not familiar with it.

    Since you are using water bath instead of pressure canning, make sure you add some acid to get the acid levels high enough to be safe. Not all tomatoes have a high enough acid content to be safe using water bath. Those low acid tomatoes are great for people with certain stomach problems but they can pose a risk when water bath canning.

    I use all my tomatoes, not just the sauce tomatoes. You do have to cook them down a bit more, but I think I get a depth of flavor in the sauce that you just don't get just using paste tomatoes.
     
  6. Aug 13, 2010
    Hooligan

    Hooligan Sprout

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    Thank you all for your replies. I wouldn't have thought of freezing my tomatoes before canning them and was wondering how to deal with already ripe tomatoes while waiting for the others to ripen...That was actually going to be my next question so thank you again! As for the sauce, I think I will cook it longer next time. I think my impatience got the better of me this session. Thank you all for your wonderful advice!!! I'm so glad I found this place as well as BYC...I'm redwing76 over there...There was already a Hooligan registered over there.
     
  7. Aug 14, 2010
    hoodat

    hoodat Garden Addicted

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    The problem with getting it thick is to keep it simmering without burning the bottom. Slow cookers are great for getting around that problem.
     
  8. Aug 14, 2010
    freemotion

    freemotion Chillin' In The Garden

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    I discovered something by accident last year when I was making a layered dip for a potluck and forgot to drain my fresh diced tomatoes and ran out of time....so I ran them through my salad spinner. I couldn't believe how much almost-clear juice and seeds came out!

    Cut them across the "equator" to open all the seed compartments before spinning them. I will quarter them or cut them into eighths, depending on the size. It makes a huge difference.

    The chickens went bonkers over the seeds that spun out, too.
     
  9. Aug 14, 2010
    vfem

    vfem Garden Addicted

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    That is an awesome idea! Off to buy me a salad spinner at Walmart. :D
     

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