Processing tomatoes for canning can be a bit of a chore. The tomatoes need to be peeled, cored, cut and possibly seasoned before the canning process. I found that most tomato canning recipes called for either peeling the tomatoes ahead of time or cooking the tomatoes with the peel on and then straining. Since I did not have the proper equipment to make the straining process easy, I peeled all of my tomatoes first.
After you wash the tomatoes, the first step is to cut an X in the bottom of the tomato. The cut should not be deep into the flesh of the tomato. Just a simple hash mark through the skin will do.
Then prepare a large pot of water boiling. Place the tomatoes in the pot for about 30 seconds.
Immediately plunge the hot tomatoes into a bath of ice water. The ice water will stop the cooking process. At this point the peel should come off very easily. If the peel is not sliding right off, you might need to return it to the boiling water for a few seconds.
I found that the tomatoes were ready to peel when I saw the skin cracking in the boiling water past the little X I had made. Hubby and I worked as a team – he washed and cut the tomatoes while I handled the boiling and cooling. It really made the process fairly easily.
Once your tomatoes are peeled, they can be frozen or canned. We processed them for canned salsa and seasoned tomato sauce. It was a lot of work but it’s very rewarding!