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Canned Crushed Heirloom Tomatoes
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
55 mins
Total Time
1 hr 40 mins

A simple recipe for making canned crushed heirloom tomatoes at home. This recipe details a 10 pound quantity of tomatoes, but you can adjust the recipe for however many tomatoes you have.

Recipe Type: Canning
Cuisine: American
Keyword: canned heirloom tomatoes
Makes: 4 quarts
Author: Elizabeth Stark
  • 10 pounds heirloom tomatoes* (throw in a few extra if you have lots of compromised fruit you’ll need to cut away), if using a different quantity, see note below
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (for pH balance, you’ll want to use the prepared kind)
  • 4 teaspoons sea salt
  • Ice
  1. Immerse 4 quart jars in a large, water-filled pot. Set over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. As soon as water boils, turn off heat and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat another large pot with boiling water –– you’ll use this to blanche to heirlooms. Also set out a large bowl of icy water and prepare a large cutting board. Set out a medium bowl to collect the tomato seeds and water.
  3. Dip a group of 5 – 6 tomatoes into boiling water for 1 minute, and then use a slotted spoon to move blanched tomatoes straight into ice water. Core and peel skin from tomatoes. Cut away and discard any dark spots or sections of mushy flesh. Cut each tomato in half and scoop any juices into the medium bowl. Rough chop tomatoes, and set in a large, non-reactive pot or, temporarily, in a large bowl (if you don’t have a second large pot). Continue until all the tomatoes have been peeled and chopped.

  4. Set the large pot of chopped tomatoes over high heat. Bring mixture to a boil quickly, then turn heat to medium so the mixture bubbles vigorously. Use a potato mashed to mash the tomatoes a bit and stir often. Cook mixture for 10 minutes.
  5. Add lemon juice and salt, and cook 5 minutes longer.

  6. Bring large pot of jars back to a boil. Add lids and rims, and remove after one minute. Tip water out of the jars, and set out to fill.

  7. Ladle tomatoes into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Tap bottom of jar to displace bubbles. Wipe rims clean with a cloth dipped in hot water. Top with lids and seal with rims.

  8. Set jars into same pot used to sterilize. You’ll probably need to remove about 4 quarts of water – leave enough so jars are covered by 2-inches water. Bring water to a vigorous boil, cover with the lid, and process in rapidly boiling water 45 minutes.

  9. Set processed jars on a heat proof surface. Tap bottom gently to remove bubbles. Lids should invert and seal overnight. If one of your jars doesn’t seal, set it in the fridge and use within a week.

  10. If you're planning to make tomato waterfor cocktails, pour reserved tomato water into jars, seal, and set in the fridge. Within a day, you’ll want to strain the tomato water.

Recipe Notes

*If using a different amount of tomatoes, you can just add 1 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons prepared lemon juice to the bottom of each jar, then fill with hot crushed tomatoes and process as detailed above. 

Weigh your tomatoes first, so you can estimate the number of jars you’ll need. 10 pounds of tomatoes yields about 4 quarts canned crushed tomatoes.