Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Summer in a jar - Tomato Sauce

I am blessed to have the Royersford Tomato Company setting up shop three blocks from my house at Brewed Awakenings on Thursdays.  This past Thursday, I walked over, got an excellent Cafe au Lait and a shopping bag full of plum and small tomatoes.  I let them sit in the kitchen until Sunday to let them completely ripen.  Time to make some tomato sauce!

This is my Victorio Food Strainer, including the electric motor.  The motor is a luxury, but not one I would like to be without.  Hand cranking large quantities of tomatoes takes a lot of energy and time. 

Here you can see the machine in action.  The crushed tomatoes run down the chute in front, and the peels and seeds exit to the left.

This is the strainer that comes with the machine.  The holes are small enough to block the seeds from the tomatoes.

This is a vidoe of the food mill in action.  It's not quiet...

After running all the tomatoes from Rofotomo, along with whatever was ripe in my patch and a bagful from one of K's coworkers, I had a bow of peels and seeds.  This was quite wet, so I ran it back through twice, which yielded another two cups of juice.  Total yield from this sesson was 18 cups of tomato puree.

Before and after...

Let's put some heat to this...

Many hours later, the 1.5 liters of sauce had cooked down to about 0.5 liters and it thickened up.  I ran an immerson blender through it to even out the texture and ladled it into jars.  I got three full jars and a partial jar.  

I got the hot water canner filled and up to 180 degrees,  I tested the Ph of the sauce and it was well below 4.6, so no additions of acid were needed.  

I brought the water up to a boil and boiled the jars for 35 minutes.

And this winter, when the weather is cold and the sky is gray, we will open a jar of this, boil some pasta and will be transported back to summer...

Savory Apple Onion Pie


4 medium Apples
1 large or 2 medium onions (about 1 cup sliced)
2 tbsp butter
¼ tsp each ginger, anise, saffron
½ tsp cinnamon
about 10 Mission Figs or 5 larger ones, chopped
about 2 tbsp raisins or currants (or a mixture)
1 to 2 tsp fresh chopped parsley or fresh (not frozen) chopped spinach
¼ cup dry red wine or good port

Make a pie crust for a top and bottom crust.

Peel and core two apples.  Place in a plastic bag and crush or pound them with a rolling pin.  Add a few drops of wine to prevent browning.  Set aside.

Cut onion into thick slices.  Saute in the butter until they are soft and translucent, but not brown.  Add the spices.  Note: to use saffron, mix it with a little salt and grind in a mortar.

Cut two remaining apples into thick slices or chunks.  Mix with all of the remaining ingredients including the cooked onions and the pounded apples.

Roll out pie dough.  You can cook in a pie pan, or you can make two large squares or rectangles or you can make it into 6 or 8 pasty shells in whatever shape you like (free forms need to be baked on a cookie sheet or flat pan).

Place filling on bottom crust.  Be careful not to overfill the pie.  Wet the edge with water or egg white.  Add the top crust, seal carefully.  Make a decorative edge if you want.  Paint the pastry with egg white or with saffron mixed with water to make it pretty.

Bake for 25-35 minutes until pastry is done.  Let it cool for 10-15 minutes before serving, or eat it cold.

This recipe was found in the AS XXIX Arts and Sciences Issue of Pikestaff.  It is based on a recipe in Taillevent  and was originally written up by Lady Dante de Felice.