I found a recipe in the Ball canning book and tried it. Once I got everything in it, I sampled some and it was less than great. So I started digging though my spice cabinet. I toss in a little of this and some of that. And what turned out was amazing pizza sauce! And thankfully I wrote down what and how much I was tossing in when I did. This is now the third year of making pizza sauce and we are addicted. I like that it's not a heavy thick pizza sauce like the cans you buy at the store. Its' actually a mild and slightly sweet sauce.
I know for some canning can seem like a scary process. It's actually really easy once you get the hang of it and the end results will last you all year and really save you money. So lets get started!
First you need to gather your supplies. One batch usually makes 8-9 pint size jars for me.
8-9 pint canning jars and rings
Canning supplies like funnel, ladle, jar lifter, lid lifter, and air bubble remover.
1 other larger pot to make the sauce in
food processor or blender
2-3 larger bowls for holding tomatoes
Next you need your recipe:
Ma Bacon's Homemade Pizza Sauce
18 cups tomato puree
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp basil
2 tbsp garlic powder
4 tsp salt
4 tsp pepper
1 cup bottled lemon juice
1/2 cup diced onions
2 tsp chopped garlic
oil for cooking
Lets get started!
This year I had a lot of extra green onions growing in the garden. I decided to use some up in the sauce recipe. One thing I love about this recipe is you can change it to how you like it. If you think it needs more of something or less, it's up to you.
I diced up my green onions and added 2 tsp chopped garlic to a pan along with 1 tbsp oil. I sauteed this just until they started to brown.
Then I tossed them in my pot that the sauce will go in.
Next it's time to get the tomatoes ready. Toss your tomatoes in the sink and wash them. Little Miss Bacon was happy to help with the kitchen sprayer to do this job. To get 18 cups of puree, I used 3 over-full ice cream pails of tomatoes. I also use at least 2 different kinds of tomatoes when I make sauce. I think this helps give it a better flavor. But you can use what ever you have on hand. This year I actually used four different kinds because that 's what I planted, Roma, Viva italia, Golden girl (yellow) and cherry tomatoes.
here. Heat up a pot of water until boiling. Place a few tomatoes in at a time - I usually do 8-10 depending on their size. Let them cook in the hot water for about 30 seconds.
Let them sit in the cold water for a few minutes and then with your hands peel the rest of the skins off. Place them in a colander that is over a bucket or another bowl so the liquid can drain out of the tomatoes. I give them a squeeze too to help drain out all the juices.
Here they are still sitting in my sink. And you're wondering how on earth are you going to get the skins off those. I don't bother. Nope, I toss them in the processor whole and blend away. The skins blend up and you don't even notice them. Yes you can skip skinning all of the tomatoes if you'd like. But if you do it for too many they won't break down and you'll taste them in the sauce.
Once you have all the tomatoes pureed place it in your large pot. Now it's time to add all the rest of the ingredients. Feel free to sample it as you add stuff to see if you want more of something.
Allow it to simmer on the stove over medium heat for 2 or so hours. The sauce should reduce by at least a 1/3 and start to thicken up. This won't be a super thick sauce. If you are hoping for thicker sauce, feel free to add a can of tomato paste to it. I actually don't mind the thinner sauce. A good way to see how think the sauce will be is take some in a spoon or ladle and let it sit and cool on the counter. It will thicken up and you can tell if it's how you like it.
While the sauce is cooking down and making the house smell amazing, it's a good time to get those jars ready if you haven't done so already. Wash them up and let them sit in a sink full of hot water, make sure to fill each jar with hot water too so they are ready for your sauce. Pouring hot liquids into cold glass can break them. Take my word for it, it's not a pretty mess to clean up!
Once your sauce is ready, it's time to can it. Take a jar and ladle sauce into it until it's about 1/2 in from the top of the jar.
Now it's time to take one of the new lids out of the warm water it's been sitting in and top the jar with it. Remember the lids need to sit in a hot water bath before they are placed on the jars to help the seal better. Use the fun lid lifter for this, it saves you from burnt fingers! Secure the lids with a ring and they are ready to go.
Keep going until all the jars are full! Then it's time for their bath!
I have mine all ready to go in the boiling water in the caning pot. My canning pot came with this nice rack that has handles so I can easily get the jars in and out. If yours didn't come with one, use the jar lifter to help get them in and out of the pot.
Make sure once they are in the water bath that the tops are covered with at least an inch of water over the top of them. Boil the jars for 35 minutes for pint jars. Once time is up, remove them and let them cool on a hot pad until cool. This is the point that I like to savor the 'PING' sounds of the lids sealing!
The next morning I unscrew the lid and gently press my finger against the lid to make sure lid did in fact seat. Make sure you label your yummy sauce too! You can see from my picture here that it is a bit runnier that what most think. Don't worry it will still taste amazing! Now it's time to make some crust and enjoy!