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I am getting about 10-12 extra tomatoes every other day. Is it possible to freeze these tomatoes until I get enough to can them? If so, would I blanch, peel, then thaw and heat for canning? Thanks for any advice.
Just cut them up, put them on a cookie sheet, freeze, then put in freezer bags. Then you can use them in stews or to make sauce as you wish!! If you have fresh basil cut it up, place in ice cube trays, add a few drops of water and freeze - great combination!!
Have you ever considered roasting them? There are several recipes on the internet, but it is a simple as blanch, peel, cut (slice, chunk, etc.). Put them in a pyrex dish and slip it in the oven. You can leave them plain or season them as you would for stewed tomatoes. Gives a nice, rich flavor.
I freeze tomatoes whole before canning, or making sauce to can. Once the tomatoes are frozen, they release a LOT of just water when they defrost, cutting down on cooking time... and intensifying flavor.
Thanks for all the answers everyone. I blanched, peeled and seeded then froze in vacuum sealed bags. I love roasted tomatoes. Thanks for reminding me. I am going to try the whole tomatoes too and see how that goes. Tomorrow I am making a tomato pie. If you have never had one, you don't know what you are missing. When I first heard of them, I thought sounds yucky until I heard the ingredients and tried one. So yummy!
There have been many other good suggestions since I responded this morning. As Darius pointed out you can freeze them whole as well. The advantage of freezing them on a cookie sheet first is that they don't stick together when you bag them up. I can then use a few from a bag to add to a stew or sauce if I wish. If they are really large tomatoes I prefer to cut them into quarters or smaller so they fit better in the bag and don't take up so much space. I don't peel or seed them before freezing so don't blanch. If I make a sauce, usually through roasting, I cook them and then strain when cooked. How about posting your recipe for your tomato pie!! It sounds like something we tomato addicts would enjoy!!
This is a very simple recipe but it is really good. Thanks gardadore for your comments.
1 Pie crustrust
1 1/2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese
4 cloves garlic
1 Cup loose fresh Basil
Tomatoes, peeled and sliced ( I usually overlap my tomatoes when layering over the cheese. The amount you use is a matter of taste)
1/2 C mayonaise
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
Bake pie crust 8 minutes @ 400*, while hot put 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese on crust and put back in oven until the cheese melts. Place peeled and sliced tomatoes over the melted cheese. Chop 4 cloves of garlic and 1 cup basil and place over the tomatoes. Mix 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup mayo and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and spread over the top. Bake at 375* for 30 minutes.
A couple questions for you folks who roast a lot of tomatoes...
1. What do you do with the seeds? Freeze them along with the tomatoes? Strain?
2. What do you do with the juice that cooks off? It seems a shame to waste all that good juice so I've strained it, but when I roast tomatoes, I usually have a little garlic, oil, and spices on the tomatoes, so not sure I want to use it unless it's to cook with, and then I usually end up forgetting about it.
When I freeze tomatoes they are either frozen whole or cut up in pieces as explained above. Skins and seeds are intact.
I roast them intact (but cut up into smaller wedges) whether frozen or not and remove seeds and skin after cooking using a strainer.
Using frozen tomatoes does create a lot of juice. If I also get too much juice from fresh tomatoes I just skim some of it off and put it in a saucepan and cook it down. The sauce can then be added back into the pan of cooked tomatoes before straining or used for cooking.
Here is a link to a fabulous recipe which was first posted in 2008 and then revived by Critterologist in 2009. I love this recipe and it can be adapted to your needs. For instance I do not add the jalapeno peppers.
Thank you, gardadore! That's exactly what I'm looking for. I seem to recall seeing something like this on a post in years past but apparently didn't keep it or it was one of those bad tomato years when I didn't have enough to fool with it. This year is different, oh so different. I don't think I'd add the jalapeno's either but on the other hand, my old favorite spaghetti sauce recipe does call for dried red pepper flakes, so a little wouldn't hurt for some 'zing'.
Glad the link worked and that you are having a good harvest. Enjoy - it is really yummy. I'm also looking forward to trying Phyllis's tomato pie once I get some ripe tomatoes. After a period of drought we are now having constant storms so the plants are really suffering. First not enough water, now too much so some are wilting.
We have been making the sauce from that link to the Nicolaus article for several years.
Just yesterday I was reading Jennifer Bartley's "The Kitchen Gardener's Handbook" where under tomatoes, she says to wash and core whole tomatoes, leaving skins on, put on cookie sheets and freeze, then place in plastic bags for freezer storage. Sounds like what several of you have recommended above.
Well, they are in the crockpot cooking. Hope they turn out good. They should as these were such gorgeous Vivia Italia tomatoes. That is one thing that I really love about those Vivia Italias (besides the taste which is great) is that they make such lovely perfect looking tomatoes.