Canning cherry tomatoes?

buckeyefanSeptember 5, 2006

Hello all- my first post! I found this site last night, and I have been busy reading up and getting tips, so forgive me if this question has been answered before.

I am new to canning; teaching myself, and learning as I go! So far I have done blueberry preserves, peaches, pears, salsa, and garlic/basil tomato sauce.

Another first for me this year is gardening- I have never had a garden before, so again, learning as I go, but I planted 3 cherry tomato plants, and they are producing like crazy right now- I harvest about 30-40 tomatoes every day or so, and I don't know what to do with them! I am reading how people dry them here- is there a way to do that in the oven? I don't have a dehydrator.

Also, my main question, is how do you can them? I am only using a water bath canner right now- (a pressure canner is going on my Christmas list!). Do you skin them like a regular tomato? Any advice here is very appreciated!

Thanks, and I am excited to read more tips and recipes!

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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I freeze mine. Just rinse and toss into a ziploc.
I use them all winter in soups, chili, spaghetti sauce, etc.
Seems like they'd be a real pain to peel them all!

Welcome to the forums. There's lots of great people and advice here.
Deanna

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 12:53PM
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julsie

I'd can them the same way you can larger tomatoes. In fact, I'd probably put them in a salsa or tomato sauce if they're not too liquid. But that's just me!

Yes, you can dry foods in your oven, but there's been some discussion here that suggests some ovens are too hot, even on their lowest setting. I've never done that, so hopefully someone with experience will chime in!

Julie

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 1:14PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

As long as your oven temp is low enough you could dry them in the oven.

You could use cherry tomatoes in tomato sauce or ketchup. If canning, I would look at recipes like that where you could cook the whole tomatoes (certainly won't take long) and then strain out the skins and seeds.

Another possibility is to use them for tomato juice, which might be the best option. The problem is cherry tomatoes don't have much pulp, so there'd be a lot of waste with most recipes. The juice is the least wasteful.

I do have a French recipe for a pickled cherry tomato. Obviously that would only be for some of them, but if you're interested, let me know and I'll post it.

Carol

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 1:21PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Welcome to the forum, Buckeyefan. This is definately the place to learn about canning and other forms of preserving.

You can put the cherry tomatoes up as preserves if you like.

Yellow Pear, a fairly popular cherry tomato, goes back at least to 1750, and was typically used as a preserve. Here's a recipe:

Tomato Preserves

1 tbls mixed pickling spices
1 piece ginger root (about an inch)
4 cups sugar
1 cup thinly sliced lemon
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 quarts (2 1/2-3 lbs) cherry tomatoes, halved.

Tie spices in a cheesecloth bag; add to sugar, lemon, and water in a large sauce pot. Simmer 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook gently until tomatoes become transparant, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cover and let stand 12-18 hours in a cool place.

Remove spice bag. Drain; reserving syrup. Boil syrup 2-3 minutes or longer if too thin. Add tomatoes and lemon; boil 1 minute.

Pour hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process in boiling water bath 20 minutes. Yields about 6 half pints.

You can also check various chutney recipes, and adapt them as necessary to use halved or quartered cherry tomatoes.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 2:13PM
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lpinkmountain(5b/6a border PA)

I had a garden one year with an overflow of cherry tomatoes. As a matter of fact, that was what first started me canning. We were going to have an early frost and I hated to see all the green cherry tomatoes go to waste so I picked them and made green cherry tomato pickles. They were yummy, great in salads. My friends used them instead of olives in martinis! The next year, same situation, overrun with cherry tomatoes except this time ripe ones. I used them in salsa, hot sauce and chutney, as well as the pickles. Man were those puppies a PITA! Yes I peeled them! I blanched them just like I do the big toms. My hands got wrinkly and raw from tomato juice. But I have to say, those little gems have fantastic tomato flavor! That was also the year I invested in a food mill. Never have been able to get that to work, but supposedly it can help with things like cherry toms. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 5:11PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

For green cherry tomatoes you can try

Fireballs

1 gallon green cherry tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
4 celery stalks cut the height of a quart jar
4 hot red peppers
4 heads dill
1 quart water
1/2 cup pickling salt
2 quarts white vinegar

Combine water, salt & vinegar. Bring to a boil.

To each of four quart jars add a garlic clove, a celery stalk, a hot pepper, and a head of dill.

Pack cherry tomatoes into the jars. Pour hot brine over tomatoes, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.

Remove air bubbles, adjust lids, and process in BWB ten minutes.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 5:42PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Sounds like a great martini garnish, Lad. Maybe increase the salt for that purpose. The brine that an olive carries into a martini is an important contribution to the flavor.

Jim

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 7:45PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

I'll take your word for it, Jimster. I'm like LBJ, and firmly believe that whisky should have color to it.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 8:21PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

buckeye fan,

I've dried hundreds of 'em in my oven. Cut 'em in half, put 'em cut side up on a cookie sheet, and put your oven on its LOWEST setting. You can leave the door open a teeny crack (e.g., put a dish towel in the opening so it can't close all the way) if it won't go down below 200 or so.

I check them every half hour or so and pick out the ones that are ready (if they're all about the same size they are all ready at once but often I have a mixed batch of all different sizes). This takes only about 30 seconds.

They're ready when they're leathery but not crispy. I store them in ziploc bags in the freezer, and they're better than bigger tomatoes for drying in my opnion because they only take a few hours to dry (2 to 6, for me, usually), and when I use 'em I don't have to chop 'em! And they defrost in just minutes.

Congrats on your great harvest!

Zabby

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 9:57AM
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eouts

very inspiring recipes.
I have 150 from my garden in my freezer and another 100 coming.

questions:
gardenlad - can i make them non-spicy just savory that way (without red peppers?
can i mix red and green in the preserve recipe?
thinking it could be a nice tapa if salty.

PS: i just made my first jam and first canning experience. fun!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 11:27PM
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