processing garden produce
peeled tomatoes
Once you have gathered and laid out the equipment as described on the Preparation web page you can begin processing the tomatoes as follows :-

Photo of cutting a cross in the top of a tomato.
1. Cut a small cross on the top of each tomato.

Photo of tomotoes in a pot of hot water.
2. Briefly scald the tomatoes in hot water.

Photo of rubbing skin of a tomato.
3. Transfer the tomatoes to the cold water bowl and remove the skins by rubbing.

Photo of stem being removed from a peeled tomato4. Cut out stems and bad sections.

Photo of peeled tomatoes being pushed into a jar
5. Peeled tomatoes being pushed into a jar.
1. Wash the tomatoes and cut the tops
Thoroughly wash the tomatoes then with a knife cut a small cross on the top of each tomato (opposite to where the stem is).  I prefer to use a serrated knife as it cuts easier.  This can be done in small batches as you go.  You do not have to cut into the tomato much at all, just enough to break the skin.  In fact the cut shown in the photo on my right is a little deep.

2. briefly scald the tomatoes in hot water
Heat the pot of water on the stove until just below boiling point then add the tomatoes with cuts on their tops in small batches of six to ten tomatoes.

Leave them in the water for between thirty seconds and two minutes.  How long will vary depending on the size, type and ripeness of the tomatoes, plus how hot the water is.

It is a little bit of an art to judging it but you will quickly learn when the tomatoes are ready to be removed.  Remember that you are just scalding the tomatoes, not cooking them right through.

3. Transfer tomatoes to the cold water bowl and Remove skins.
Remove the tomatoes from the pot with tongs and place them in the bowl of cold water.  The skins are then removed by rubbing the tomatoes with your hands.  As the water is cold this can be done with bare hands.

If tomatoes have been scalded for the right amount of time the skins will come off very easily, usually in about a second. 

If they have not been scalded enough the skins will be difficult to remove.  If this happens return the tomatoes to the pot for another thirty seconds heating.

If you have scalded the tomatoes for too long then small chunks of tomato will come off with the skins.  Cook the next batch of tomatoes for a shorter period of time.

After you have processed three or four batches of tomatoes your bowl will become cluttered with skins.  Once this happens empty the water into a slops bucket and replace with fresh water.

4. cut out stems and bad sections.
As you transfer the tomatoes to the jar cut out any stems and bad sections.  If the tomatoes are very large then cut them in half or even quarters.

5. push the tomatoes into the jar
Pack the tomatoes tightly into the jar by pushing them firmly down.  In effect you squash them in which pushes some of the juice out over the top. That is why the jar needs to be standing in a bowl. There is no need to add any water, all that should be in the jar are tomatoes and tomato juice.

Once the jar is fully packed then pour the juice that has spilt into the bowl over the top of the jar to make sure it is absolutely full.  This can done by moving the jar to a spare bowl.  Before you put the lid on make sure there are no seeds on the lip of the jar as the can cause the lid to not seal properly.

Once you have done this put the lid and clips on in preparation for preserving the jars.  I have used Fowlers Vacola preserving jars in this example but there are other jars and methods of preserving that can be used.  For details see Preserving Peeled Tomatoes web page.