Thursday 26 November 2015

Old fashioned tomato sauce

It was one of those rare occasions when tomatoes were at a super price at the supermarket. M spotted beautiful big tomatoes for sale at only $2.00 a kilo, a complete bargain in our city, so early in the 'season'. If you have them growing in your garden this summer - lucky you! The wind here batters my plants to the point they just give up supplying any fruit!

The man has always loved this homemade tomato sauce. It was originally named Nana Spence's tomato sauce, a lady who has sadly long gone so I can't get her permission to use the recipe. I understand she was a lovely Nana so I suspect she won't mind if I share the love and post it in this blog.
It is the second year I have made it. It will last for a long time in a cool dry place (our wine cellar is the perfect spot).
You will get a slightly different taste depending on the apples you use, how much cayenne pepper is added and of course the ripeness of your tomatoes. Suffice to say I am very pleased with this latest batch.
We did a little experiment to see if the old fashioned style of sauce contains less sugar per serving. It comes just a little under the mass produced sort, but we think because it is homemade it must be better for you!

Nana Spence’s Tomato Sauce
The original recipe was in imperial measurement. We have adapted it to metric.
I used 6kg of tomatoes which made about 8 litres of sauce.
Allow a large part of a day to do this – it takes a while to prepare, cook, sterilise bottles and bottle.
You need a muslin bag for the spices, an extra big pot for this quantity and a mouli.
We used granny smith apples in one batch and red apples in the second. It made the latter sauce a little darker.

5kg tomatoes
800 grams onions
1.7kg apples
1.25kg brown sugar
56 grams whole cloves
1 tsp (or more) of cayenne
56g pepper (you could try peppercorns)
56g whole spice (I used ground and it was ok, but best to use whole)
125g plain salt
1 to 2 bottles of cider vinegar (you could use malt but cider gives a better flavour we think)
Place all whole spices in a muslin bag and tie securely.
Cut onions, apples, tomatoes into quarters and place in large preserving pan or pot.
Add all other ingredients (except the vinegar).
Bring to boil and simmer for an hour – keep stirring every now and then to ensure it doesn’t stick on the bottom.
Then add vinegar, boil for another hour.
Cool and mouli to remove the skins and bottle  into sterilised bottles