Since our family eats Italian food at least twice a week, tomato plants are a regular staple in our vegetable garden. So that we can continue enjoying Italian meals in the winter months, I turn many of the tomatoes into tomato sauce or paste before canning.
Making sauce or paste out of tomatoes is typically a very time consuming process. It starts with blanching and peeling the tomatoes, then slicing them, and finally boiling them all day so the liquid can evaporate. For home canners with a steam juicer, a steam juicer can cut the prep time by several hours. Not only is blanching, peeling, and seeding unnecessary when using the steam juicer, the water is extracted faster and there’s no need for continually stirring the tomatoes to prevent scorching.
Here’s how you too can make tomato paste easily using your steam juicer.
Chinois Strainer with pestle and stand (this is a conical shaped sieve with a wooden masher)
One peck (2 gallons) of tomatoes- meaty varieties like Roma are best bushel)
Salt to taste
Food storage containers
Instructions for making tomato paste
1. Assemble steam juicer. Start the water boiling in the water chamber.
2. As the water is heating up, wash the tomatoes, remove the woody stem and cut them in half.
3. Drop the tomatoes in the colander portion of the steam juicer.
4. Stir tomatoes occasionally; let steam until tomatoes have flatted out to a pulp-like consistency.
5. Drain off the clear liquid in the reservoir and discard (or freeze for soup).
6. Place the tomato pulp in the Chinois strainer, which has been suspended over a bowl.
7. Use the pestle to mash the pulp through the holes in the strainer. Scrape the exterior with the spatula.
8. For a smoother tomato paste, run the strained pulp through a blender. Add salt to taste. Turn into clean food storage containers and freeze.
Total time: 2 1/2 hours or less. Yield two half pints of tomato paste.
When it comes to making tomato paste, using a steam juicer quickly extracts the juice without the need for paring, seeding, and hours of boiling. For home canners and busy cooks, this alternative method of making tomato paste will cut your prep time in half.