I can’t really claim this recipe, as some version of this is made in every canner’s house. It’s super easy and perfect for beginners.
2 1/2 gallons fresh summer tomatoes
freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
8-10 quart glass canning jars, rings and lids
A note on tomatoes – while plum, past and oxheart type tomatoes will give you the best thick texture, heirloom tomatoes will taste the best. But really, I use whatever is available and fresh from my garden, all colors, shapes and sizes!
Bring two large pots of water to a boil. One will be for processing the jars, the other for dipping the tomatoes to be peeled. Fill a sink with cold water.
In one pot, add a rack to the bottom, or even a dish towel, to keep the jars off the bottom of the pan. Sink your jars in and let them warm up while the water comes to a boil. When boiling, turn down to a simmer.
Once the second pot is boiling, drop 2-3 tomatoes into the water for 10 seconds. Move to the sink full of cold water. Repeat with all the tomatoes in batches. Peel and core the tomatoes, then cut them into 1 inch chunks.
Drain the boiling water from the pan and fill with the diced tomatoes. Bring the tomatoes to a simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom.
Drain the jars and place on a dry towel (don’t set hot jars on a cold surface or the may crack.) Into each quart jar place 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt (optional) and then fill the jars with tomatoes with their juice, leaving 1/2 inch head room at the top. Wipe the jar rims clean with a towel dipped in hot water. Top with the lid and ring, tightening to finger tight (don’t crank down to hard!)
Load the jars back into the pot. Bring to a medium boil, then process for 45 minutes. Remove to a dry towel or rack to cool.
Repeat process with remaining jars and tomatoes.