As some of you know I’ve been cultivating a pandemic tomato farm
Now it’s time to save them as the harvest is peaking.
I’ve never strained tomatoes for skin and seeds when using them from fresh.
BUT… I processed 3.5kg of very seedy cherry tomatoes into a cooked purée a couple of weeks ago, and I can clearly taste bitterness ( I’m going to strain it and try to salvage the flavor).
Current theory on this is that using the blender to break the tomatoes down was the problem, and if I cook them whole and then just mash them in the pot, it will be fine because the seeds won’t be broken open like in the very powerful blender.
Anyone have thoughts on this?
(I have actually bought a big strainer to strain out the skins and seeds… part of me doesn’t want to waste any more perfect tomatoes… but it’s going to be more work…)
When I make salmorejo, I puree (Vitamix) raw tomatoes with skin and seeds, canned tomatoes, along with bread, almonds, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and there is never any bitterness. But there are all those other ingredients.
If you’re doing a large quantity you want a tomato processor. This is a step up from a strainer or chinoise. You can get a manual one for around $70. Electric ones start around $220. They both work well but the manual ones get a little leaky if you overload them.
I get one of my chinoises out and press them through that. It’s amazing how much pulp you can get out of the skins and seeds. I then turn it into tomato sauces, with different seasonings, and water bath can them. One year I probably put up 75 various sized jars, and froze some whole cherry tomatoes, along with some regular sized tomatoes, that had been seeded and skinned. No off flavors at all.
Thank you - I was wondering that after I processed a new batch today.
PC for 10 mins to soften everything, then pushed through the strainer to get all the pulp out and leave the seeds and skin. Very watery, so then I cooked down the result a la Hazan. Barely a hint of bitterness, but it did dawn on me that the seeds need to come out first with the next batch.
What I do with regular tomatoes is blanch, peel, halve, and seed with a spoon. Scaling that down to cherry tomatoes makes my head hurt. The blanch and peel would be the time-consuming part. Lots of streaming Netflix as a distraction.
Blender is definitely not a good idea. I’d try a food mill first. I’m not big on the straining idea as you have dense meat from the fruit, then the seeds, then the juice. It’s just hard to manage through strainers without multiple stages. That’s why I use a spoon. grin
I have a pan of tomatoes roasting in the oven as we speak. I blanch, peel and quarter the larger ones, halve the cherries, drizzle them with olive oil, add garlic, salt, pepper and herbs. When they are done to my liking I run them through the food mill and freeze the sauce.
A brine made from 50/50 water & vinegar with 1/4 cup pickling spice & 1 T of salt per quart. You will need about 1 cup of brine per pint jar of tomatoes. You can jar them & put them in the fridge or process 10 mins in a water bath. They will be crunchier in the fridge. You can also charge the jars before you add the tomatoes & brine with garlic, basil leaf, bay leaves or any other flavor enhancers of your choice
I briefly blanch the tomatoes and peel the skins by hand and remove the cores. For sauce, I keep the seeds and haven’t had any issues with bitterness. When you strain the seeds out, you’re still retaining the gel around them, right? That gel is where much of the flavor lies.