I started off my post on preserving tomatoes, in February, by saying,
It’s nearing the end of summer and still the tomatoes are coming.
I then when on to say,
If, after you have made relish and salsa and have dried, pickled and roasted your tomatoes, you are still picking them by the bucket load, it is time for some serious preserving.
Well… it’s nearly winter and still the tomatoes keep coming. I have preserved so many tomatoes, I seriously doubt my cupboard will ever be free of them. It is time for something different.
The other day, I was going through my recipe book and I came across a recipe for tomato sauce quaintly called, “Mum’s Mum’s Tomato Sauce”. So, the other night after picking another load of tomatoes, I decided I would make tomato sauce with them.
As luck would have it, I was in Bridgetown and the “Mum’s Mum’s” recipe was in Perth. I went through my books at hand and found a recipe in the Family Circle book, Jams, Pickles & Chutneys, which was rather similar to the Mum’s Mum’s recipe.
I have always been intrigued by tomato sauce recipes that have apples in them. I have often wondered how, in the good old days before cold storage, people had access to tomatoes and apples at the same time. Well, my apples are beginning to ripen so I have access to both right now!! I used windfall apples and some that Maus picked too green. It is great to use up produce that would otherwise be wasted.
The tomato sauce turned out great. I don’t usually eat tomato sauce but this sauce tastes so much better than the commercial stuff. Maus has given it the thumbs up.
Pity about the Grolsch bottles. I do have some lovely bottles that would have been perfect for the sauce but, alas, they are also in Perth. Maus was so happy that she had saved these when I was searching frantically for bottles to put my sauce in.
I doubled the recipe (I used 4 kilograms of tomatoes) and made just over 4 litres of sauce. These quantities will make about 2 litres.
- 2 kg ripe tomatoes (I had a mixture of cherry tomatoes and Romas)
- 3 green apples
- 3 onions (I only used 2 because 3 seemed like a lot to me)
- 2½ cups malt vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 1 tsp whole allspice
I added one chilli which gave the sauce a little extra zing.
- Wash the tomatoes and apples, core and roughly chop (I threw the cherry tomatoes in whole).
- Peel and roughly chop the onions.
- Combine tomatoes, apples, onions, vinegar and garlic (and chilli, if using) in large saucepan.
- Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until all the ingredients are soft and mushy.
- Sift the ingredients. I have a colander and sieve attachment to my Kenwood Major which is fantastic. It very quickly separated the seeds and skins from the pulp and juice. If you have to do it by hand then …. you have to do it by hand.
- Return the sieved mixture to saucepan.
- Add the sugar, salt and cayenne pepper.
- Tie the cloves and allspice in a piece of muslin and add to the pan.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly.
- Remove muslin bag from pan.
- At this stage, I thickened the sauce with Clearjel*. This wasn’t part of the recipe but it gives the sauce body, much like commercial sauce.
- Pour the sauce into warm, sterilised jars or bottles and seal immediately.*Clear Jel is a corn starch derivative. You can’t get it in Australia but you can buy it online from the States. It is a commercial thickening product used by bakeries and for frozen food.There are two types of Clear Jel, “instant” and “regular”. “Instant” does not require heat to thicken. It will thicken as soon as liquid is added. It is usually recommended to mix Instant Clearjel with sugar or other dry ingredient before adding it to the liquid, or mixing it in with a stick blender, otherwise it will grab.“Regular” must be heated. This is, generally, the preferred type to use in products to be preserved. To use Clear Jel in a hot dish, first mix a small amount in cold water, then add gradually to the hot liquid, mixing constantly. Or, mix everything together while cold, and then heat and stir to thicken.Clear Jel is tasteless and colourless and much more stable than cornflour (starch). I am totally sold on it.