It’s summer canning season at the Ely Hilltop Garden. Each year I start Early Girl Tomatoes from seeds at my house in Golden Valley. I tend to the seeds by leaving them in a sunny window. I water them, transfer them to larger pots, and eventually, I set them outside for 3 -4 weeks until the ice goes out on Burntrside lake in Ely, Minnesota. Then I transfer my seedlings to the Ely Hilltop Garden, where they grow, flower, and hopefully experience enough warmth to produce sumptuous tomatoes for canning In the Fall.
As of this post, made on September 2, I have made 2 quarts and 1 pint of canned tomato sauce. I will be leaving the cabin on September 8 with as many partially red and green tomatoes as I can gather and will finish the canning process at home to give the green tomatoes time to ripen.
This Tomato Basil sauce will be how I process most of my tomatoes this year.
- About 25 medium-sized tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 6 tablespoon lemon juice (important step to raise the PH in each jar for canning)
- Cut each tomato in half, then a quarter.
- Transfer chopped tomatoes to a 7- to an 8-quart nonreactive heavy pot or Dutch oven
- Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil and boil uncovered for 45 minutes or until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
- Let cool
- With an immersion blender or blender, blend cooled tomatoes
- Add 2 cups finely chopped basil leaves and stir into the sauce
- Add I tablespoon of lemon juice to each of the 6-quart jars that have been cleaned and prepared for water bath canning
- Ladle sauce into jars, leaving 1 -a inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims; adjust the lids. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 40 minutes
- Remove jars; cool on a dish cloth for 24 hours
- Unscrew the rings and make sure all jars are sealed. For any jars that did not seal, freeze the sauce or use it within 1 week.