Make Your Own (Freezeable) Tomato Puree

29 Aug

While I wait, anxiously, for my own paste tomatoes to ripen before some sort of blight gets them (my tomatoes are abundant and my only hope left for a reasonable harvest of something this summer), my CSA, Restoration Farm, is piling on tomatoes of all stripes..I think we picked up 7-10 lbs this week alone, and since the friend we share with , Allison, has not been around, we’ve been taking it all home. So…I have made and frozen a couple of quarts of sauce recently, using the simple recipe that follows.

Bubbling puree. Stir occasionally to break up.

Bubbling puree. Stir occasionally to break up.

There are other ways to do it (some cooks just blanch, peel and run through the food mill and don’t cook it at all; while some, including me, just blanch and freeze whole tomatoes), but I like this because the puree is smooth and ready to go in a pinch and the hint of garlic gives it a round flavor without taking it in a particular ethnic direction.

I strain the sauce through a regular strainer, then eat the seeds and solids!

I strain the sauce through a regular strainer, then eat the seeds and solids!

The blanching may seem daunting at first and yes, it does add time to what you are doing, but it is so simple and I like to watch the tomatoes float up and down in the bubbles and slipping off the peels so easily is somehow satisfying.

So give it a try if you get your hands on some paste tomatoes and enjoy summer freshness when there is snow on the ground!

The final product! Tomato puree that will be great when the weather turns....

The final product! Tomato puree that will be great when the weather turns….

Tomato Puree

3-5 lbs paste tomatoes

3-5 cloves garlic minced

½ tsp coarse salt

To blanch tomatoes, put a big pot of water on to boil. Be ready with tongs and a big bowl of ice water on the side.

Rinse and core tomatoes. Drop into boiling water (you will probably have to do batches). Remove each tomato as soon as its skin starts to wrinkle/split, and drop in the ice water.

Once the tomatoes are sufficiently cooled to handle, slip off the peels and discard peels or add to stock (thanks John Picardi, or was it Mad Dog for that tip!).

Dump the water from your big pot and add the peeled tomatoes, split or chopped in half if you like. (If you have a food mill, you can put the tomatoes through the mill first to eliminate seeds. Or, there is another suggested way to do it later in the recipe). Add garlic and salt, bring to a boil, then simmer for five, ten, 15 minutes…however long you want. The flavor is bright early on and mellows somewhat with more cooking, so it is up to you which you prefer.

When you’ve reached desired flavor, let cool. At this point, since my food mill is missing a piece, I press the sauce through a strainer into a bowl. The solids remain in the strainer and…true confessions…I use that as a spread on toast because the seeds don’t bother me there, but they do bother me in a smooth sauce. Then pour the sauce into a freezer-safe container (you will yield anywhere from a pint to a quart depending on quantity of tomatoes and how much liquid evaporated in the cooking) and freeze for a fresh neutral tomato puree in the middle of winter!


9 Responses to “Make Your Own (Freezeable) Tomato Puree”

  1. Karen August 30, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    I love being able to pull out a container of sauce in the middle of winter to remind me of the wonderful flavors of summer.

  2. lauriebellsbakery August 30, 2013 at 5:41 am #

    Lovin this recipe. I’ll be including it in my Recipe Round-up post today, hope that’s alright with you. Stop by my blog later today to check it out. Lots of Love, LB

  3. Eha August 30, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    You really have nudged me here as tomatoes, in the middle of a summer, can be had at a give-away cost . . . so why not use them and make a natural product at a vastly cheaper price! Yes, I do use what is left in the sieve also 🙂 !

  4. Mad Dog August 29, 2013 at 6:21 am #

    Wow 7-10 lbs of tomatoes would be a lot to get through between 2 people 😉

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy August 29, 2013 at 6:23 am #

      what’s worse, my son won’t eat tomatoes! No matter how delicious and farm fresh…not even if he planted them. Fortunately, in addition to making sauce, my brother and family were here. My niece eats tomatoes nonstop, and then of course we cooked with them. I love this time of year!


  1. Adventures with Edible | Hot, Cheap & Easy - August 30, 2014

    […] the little man and I blanched, pureeed and froze five pounds of tomatoes. If you haven’t seen how on Hot, Cheap & Easy yet, click to see it […]

  2. Recipe Round-up: Tomatoes | Lauriebell's Bakery & Cafe - August 30, 2013

    […] Make Your Own (Freezable) Tomato Puree by Hot, Cheap & Easy This recipefrom Hot, Cheap & Easy (don’t you love that name?!) only involves a few simple steps and three ingredients.  Just a little bit of time now gives you homemade tomato puree for the colder months to come.  I love how it is so simple that it can be a base for a million different recipes.  Do you have tomatoes? Do you have garlic? Do you have salt?  Then what are you waiting for?! […]

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