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Old August 31, 2011   #1
patty_b
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Default how do you make your tomato juice??

I seem to always have water separation after canning and would like to have more like store bought. If I were to pour off more of the water before canning, it would be thicker...how do I make a better blend? Patty
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Old August 31, 2011   #2
Mark0820
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Here is the process I use:

1. I core and peel the tomatoes (they don't have to be peeled).
2. I cut the tomatoes into wedges.

Steps 3-5 can be skipped. I like a hot, spicy tomato juice I can use for chili.

3. I heat olive oil in a pan large enough to hold all of the tomatoes
(just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan).
4. When the olive oil is hot, I add sliced jalapenos and crushed garlic
(add the garlic a little while after the jalapenos).
5. Saute until the jalapeno seeds and the garlic just start to turn brown.
You should be able to smell the heat from the jalapenos.

6. Add the tomatoes into the pan and cook until they are heated.
7. Run the tomatoes through a food mill.
8. Put the juice in a quart jar.
9. The jars go into a hot water bath for about 15 minutes.

Using the above approach, I have never had problems with the juice separating. It remains thick throughout the entire quart jar up until the day I use it.
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Old August 31, 2011   #3
Mark0820
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Just another quick thought. Using paste tomatoes should make a thicker juice. I typically use whatever tomatoes I have available (usually a combo of paste and other types).
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Old August 31, 2011   #4
beeman
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You shouldn't use oil in a recipe which is intended for canning!
After lots of experimenting we have found an answer to separation. Start a small amount in a saucepan, just to cover the bottom with smashed Toms. When boiling slowly add the remainder but keep the boil. No more separation when completed.
The preferred method these days for us. Roast the toms in the oven, as deep as you wish, when soft pour off the excess liquid, run the toms through a food strainer which removes skins and seeds. The extract can be cooked down to remove even more liquid making it thicker.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of Citric acid per pint before canning in a pressure canner, for safety.
The first run liquid is delightful as a tomato juice.
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Old August 31, 2011   #5
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beeman is right. One should only use an approved recipe for canning and not change the ingredients, esp when water bath canning. :-)
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Old August 31, 2011   #6
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I haven't done any tomato juice yet (not enough tomatoes, it's been a dissapointing year due to the extended period of high heat), but I got a Roma tomato strainer this spring, and have used it for a few batches of tomato sauce, cooking it down. (One small batch of Roma tomatoes, a lot less juice and more pulp with those, so it cooked down a lot quicker.)

I think it would make pretty good tomato juice, too.

I remember spending hours and hours cranking away on a Foley mill when I was growing up, the Roma strainer is a whole lot easier to use. My mother would have loved it, she used to do 30-40 quarts of tomato juice every summer.

I'd like to find some litmus paper to test for pH, suggestions for sources?
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Old September 1, 2011   #7
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Last year I decided that "tomato juice" would be most of what I can this year. I use it for the majority of the other recipes - sauces, salsa, etc. I core and cut up the tomatoes into chunks that the food mill will handle. So here's what I do. Whatever's on the counter at the time is what goes in. I don't cook anything until after they are thru the food mill.

I like the "juice" to be pretty thick, so I do a lot of reducing. My last batch started as two 8 quart pots nearly full and that got reduced to a combined 7 quarts. I do add canning salt (~1 tspn/quart) and then do the taste test. If I think it needs it, I may add a bit of sugar to sweeten it up. Many times the sugar is unnecessary. Then it's into the jars and either water bath or pressure canner. I'm beginning to really like my pressure canner.

Later, in the winter, if I want sauce, I can add the spices and maybe some corn starch and cook it down some more. If I want salsa, same thing. If I want juice, I can add some distilled water to thin it a bit. I really like the thick juice half and half with a good beer - I like Natural Ice - served up in a "frosty mug". It is very smooth and refreshing and around here, we call it a "Redeye". You can "doctor" it up, but the basic blend is great as it is.

I see two positives in the 50%+ reduction. One is that the sauces and salsas take less time to finish and the other is that total storage space required is also reduced.

In the spring and early summer, when the new tomato plants begin to produce, I take all of the remaining cans of the previous year's "juice" and, adding some tomatoes from the new crop, make fresh salsa's for the early summer's activities. At that same time, I begin to make some more "juice" for the coming winter.

Works great for us here at the Muddy Bucket Farm.
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Old September 1, 2011   #8
bitterwort
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The page at the link below tells how to prevent separation and it's from one of the most reliable sites for home canning as well:
http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_03/tomato_juice.html
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Old September 6, 2011   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coronabarb View Post
beeman is right. One should only use an approved recipe for canning and not change the ingredients, esp when water bath canning. :-)
I guess I break all of the canning rules. I've been doing it for about 8 years now, and have never had a bulged lid, bad juice or any kind of problems. I use most of my juice for chili so I do heat every jar before I eat it.

If you think my juice recipe is bad, you definitely don't want to know what I do to my pasta sauce before I can it.
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Old September 6, 2011   #10
coronabarb
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Hey Mark,

Do as you like...:-) Just don't post it here as a way to do canning. :-))) And heating up a jar of sauce doesn't guarantee the baddies are all killed. Carry on... <grin>
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Old September 6, 2011   #11
Mark0820
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coronabarb View Post
Hey Mark,

Do as you like...:-) Just don't post it here as a way to do canning. :-))) And heating up a jar of sauce doesn't guarantee the baddies are all killed. Carry on... <grin>
I do plan to carry on, and I didn't see anything in the rules that said I need your approval as to what I can and can't post. So how about you speak for yourself, and I will speak for myself.
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Old September 6, 2011   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark0820 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by coronabarb View Post
Hey Mark,

Do as you like...:-) Just don't post it here as a way to do canning. :-))) And heating up a jar of sauce doesn't guarantee the baddies are all killed. Carry on... <grin>
I do plan to carry on, and I didn't see anything in the rules that said I need your approval as to what I can and can't post. So how about you speak for yourself, and I will speak for myself.
Mark, your rudeness is unnecessary, and there was nothing whatsoever in coronabarb's post that warranted such a strong reaction.

In addition, coronabarb is the Forum Moderator for the Harvest Time subforums and is perfectly within her rights to make comments and suggestions in regard to possible food safety issues with recipes that are posted here on Tomatoville.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mischka
Barb is very vigilant regarding food safety and I'm glad she pointed out that this method for canning tomato juice isn't safe. However small any liability may be, I don't want anyone following a potentially unsafe canning procedure posted here to end up with food poisoning. Unfortunately, it's a litigious, lawsuit-happy world we live in and I don't need anyone suing me, either.
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Old September 6, 2011   #13
coronabarb
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Thank you, Suze. While I don't have as much time as I used to, to post recipes here, I do watch for safety issues. I will put a sticky note at the top of the cooking forums regarding food safety issues and posting, so members will know what to expect.
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Old September 6, 2011   #14
piegirl
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When making juice, I wash the fruit, core and cook with the skins on. If I remove the skins all that beautiful 'red velvet' goes to the compost bin. I use a foley mill and really have very little left to toss out. There is a small separation but a simple shake and I am in business - thick and delicious. piegirl
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Old September 7, 2011   #15
salix
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Regarding post #9, it is always up to each individual to assess/accept any risk - however, please be very mindful of gifting or sharing non-"certified" canned products. Not everyone has the same immune system or ability to recover from what can be a devastating illness.
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