How To Make Homemade Tomato Paste
If you are at the end of your fresh tomato supply and you have canned, juiced, dried and enjoyed tomatoes until you can’t look at another tomato…WAIT! I have one more.
Tomato Paste. Yes, it can be done. Just like anything that is quality, it take time and love.
Tomatoes: any variety but roamas are preferred because they have a lower moisture content. Lower moisture = less time until you get to tomato paste!
Olive oil: just a drizzle
Bay leaves: 1 per two pounds of tomatoes
Here are fresh bay leaves.
Dry is fine if that is all you have.
This is my baby bay leaf plant. I have always wanted to know where bay leaves come from. Turns out it is a plant like this. I wasn’t sure if it was a tree or a bush or leaves. I picked this plant up when I visited Landreth Seed Company earlier this spring. If you are in the area you MUST visit in the spring for the plant sale. This is one of, if not THE oldest, heirloom, organic seed houses in the country.
- Wash and chop your tomatoes.
In a hot pan drizzle a little bit of olive oil. I did about an tablespoon.
Add your tomatoes and cook until soft.
- Pass the soft tomatoes through a food mill. The food mill makes easy work of removing the seeds and the skins of the tomatoes. It is so much easier than blanching the skins off of the tomatoes and removing the seeds by hand. I never get all the seeds out when I try and remove them by hand. The food mill is well worth the investment.
- Once you have a tomato pulp and puree, return it to the stove and add 1 bay leaf per 2 pounds of tomatoes.
Cook on medium high to big heat to reduce the tomatoes down to the above consistency.
Be sure to stir and scrape down the edges and the bottom of the pot.
The longer the tomatoes reduce into paste, the lower you should turn down the temperature.
The approximate eight pounds of tomatoes I started with took just over 3 hours to reduce to the above consistency.
I portioned out the tomato paste into 4 oz canning jars. I don’t use tomato paste THAT often and in larger portions than 4 ounces so the smallest jars were perfect for this exercise.
Be sure to tap (or bang) the jars on the table to get as many air bubbles out of the jars as possible.
Leave 1/4 inch head space on the top.
Process in a hot water bath for 40 minutes.
That is right.
These guys may be small but the contents in them are dense.
Another option: Freezing
Using my silicone brownie squares baking mold I pipped the tomato paste into each square. If you don’t have a pastry bag you can always snip the corner off of a resealable plastic bag. I think a gallon bag would work well in this example. If you need ANOTHER option, you can alway just spoon the tomato paste into each cavity. I was going for ‘neat’ so I used the pastry bag.
Once done, pop them in the freezer until frozen through.
Flip them over and they easily pop right out. I love silicone bake ware for applications like this one.
Store in an air tight container in the freezer and you have proportioned tomato paste. I am calling each square a tablespoon of tomato paste.
If you don’t have the silicone brownie squares baking mold there is still YET ANOTHER method of storing your tomato paste.
Pipe or dab out little 1 tablespoon blobs on a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.
Freeze till solid and then store in an air tight container in the freezer.
So there is yet ANOTHER way to use up the end of season tomatoes.
Make your own tomato paste!
Do you follow me on Pinterest?
Here is my Canning & Freezing Board to get you started:
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