Homemade Tomato Juice
Homemade tomato juice actually tastes like fresh tomatoes, not like the inside of a can. The consistency is quite a bit different from the thick supermarket variety. As the solids may settle, just shake the jar before pouring the juice. Tomatoes have plenty of vitamin C, though the heat of processing destroys some of it. Still, during the winter the tasty juice acts as a tonic. If your garden produces tons and tons of tomatoes, this recipe courtesy of the book Drink the Harvest (Storey Publishing) is one way to use them. Makes approximately 2 quarts Prep time: About 2 hours, plus overnight for juice to settle, plus canning.
- 20 pounds tomatoes (about 35 medium sized), quartered
- Filtered water, enough to cover tomatoes
- Lemon juice, 2 tablespoons per quart of tomato juice (for canning)
- Salt, ¼ teaspoon per quart of tomato juice (for canning)
- Put the tomatoes into a large nonreactive stockpot, and then add filtered water to cover the fruit by about ½ inch. Bring the contents to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stir occasionally to avoid sticking, and skim off any foam.
- Working in batches, purée the tomatoes in a food processor or blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.
- Line a large colander with two layers of cheesecloth that have been dampened with filtered water. Set the colander over a large bowl, making sure that the colander sits well above the bottom of the bowl and the juice can flow freely.
- Slowly pour the hot tomato liquid into the cheesecloth-lined colander.
- Leave the juice to strain for at least 1 hour. Do not squeeze or force the tomatoes through the cheesecloth, or the juice will become too pulpy.
This juice can be used immediately or preserved by canning.
Canning notes: Pour the measured juice into a nonreactive stockpot. Simmer at 190°F for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon of salt to each sterilized quart jar (or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and ⅛ teaspoon of salt to each pint jar). Then fill the jars with hot tomato juice, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Apply sterilized lids and bands, being careful not to overtighten. Process both pint and quart jars in boiling-water bath for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
Excerpted from Drink the Harvest (c) by Nan Chase and DeNeice Guest, photography (c) by Johnny Autry, used with permission from Storey Publishing.
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