Fresh Tomatoes

Tomatoes are plentiful at the moment and hence relatively cheap. This is the best time to stock up on some fresh produce and preserve it for the colder months.
Tomatoes are great to work with as they cook easily and do not require a lot of preparation.
You can preserve your tomatoes as a plain tomato sauce and use them instead of the tinned ones in the colder months. Alternatively you could turn the tomatoes into jam.
This week I shall give you 2 recipes; this first recipe is for preserve the tomatoes into jars and the other for a fresh and light pasta sauce.
To best preserve your tomatoes, I like to peel them and chop the roughly. Now place them alone in a pan. Do not add any oil, onion or garlic and allow them to simmer. Once the tomatoes have softened and achieved the consistency of tomato polpa (tinned tomatoes) place them into sterilised jars, label and store in a cool place.

There are 2 basic methods of sterilising:
Oven Sterilisation: Wash your jars with warm soapy water and rinse and dry them thoroughly. Now place the jars for 5 minutes in a hot oven (around 180C) just before filling up. Once the jars are out of the oven, fill immediately and seal. Allow the jars to cool before labelling or storing.

Pot Sterilisation: Wash your jars as above, and dry them. Fill the jars and close them. Now place a dish cloth around the jars and carefully place them in a large deep pot so that the jars are about 5 cm lower than the edge of the pot. Fill the pot up with boiling water until the jars are immersed half way up. Bring the water to a boil and keep them boiling for about 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the jars cool completely inside the pot before removing them. Once the water has cooled, wipe the jars dry from the outside, label and store.

Should you have a steam baby bottle steriliser, this too can be used to sterilise your jars. Just wash the jars as above and place them in the steriliser. Once the jars and lids are sterile and still hot, fill them with your jam/chutney and cool completely before labelling and storing.

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