Author Topic: Blanching Fresh Tomatoes  (Read 1654 times)

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Offline varasano

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Blanching Fresh Tomatoes
« on: August 04, 2006, 06:47:57 PM »
I just Blanched some ugly ripe tomatoes to make a tomato sauce. It was pretty easy, but took a bit of time.

Blanching is pretty easy. You just put the tomato in boiling water for 30 seconds, then take it out and put it in ice water for 30 seconds, then you can just peel it by hand.  From there I cored them with a paring knife and pulled out most of the seeds by hand. Then I ground them a bit with my immersion mixer and strained them. They were very, very wet and lost a lot of weght in water. I added a tiny amount of sea salt and a few fresh basil leaves from the garden and that's about it.

I figure that it would take about 3-3.5 lbs of tomatoes to equal one 35 oz can.  Since ugly ripes are twice the price of any other tomatoes (they are VERY tasty) - $5.99/lb, this makes it over $20 for a small batch about equal to a $1.89 can. But who's counting...

I haven't put them on a pie yet, but I will say that they do taste pretty amazing just plain. Obviously no tinny can taste. They have some acidity without being bitter.  I'm pretty optimistic.

Jeff
« Last Edit: August 05, 2006, 09:30:50 AM by varasano »


Offline scott r

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Re: Blanching Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2006, 01:28:50 AM »
Jeff, I just re visited your site for the first time in a while.  It is fun seeing the new info on there after you having another year to develop, and also to see some of the influence of this site.  I wanted to make a few comments.

You mentioned that buffalo mozzarella is not as fresh during the summer months.  What I have found (as an avid consumer of buffalo mozzarella) is that the cheese is just as fresh during the summer, but the quality of the cheese goes down at the source.  I have picked my own cheese out of a palate cooler and have seen first hand how this stuff is packed for shipment to the US.  Trust me, it is packed properly and the cheese doesn't cool during the summer months. I know there might be more chance for it to warm up on the way to the grocery store, but I am not convinced that this is the problem.   I can tell how fresh the cheese is by the firmess, and the quality of the packing water.  Even batches that are only a few days old and have been stored properly just don't have the flavor that the cheese does at other times of the year.  I was hoping Marco would chime in with his opinion, but from what I have tasted I am going to consider this a fact.  It only makes sense that these cows are eating different things at different times of the year, and this must effect the final flavor and melting characteristics.  Now what surprises me is that summer is not the best time for the cheese.

I wanted to point out that I find that reducing uglyripe tomatoes after the blanching is essential for the best flavored sauce.  It is best done slowly in the oven (as pizzagirl has pointed out), and if done properly can actually end up making a sauce that is better than the best canned. It is surprising to me, though,  that it is not that much better.  You would think it would be a huge difference, but it is not in my opinion.  I often blend the uglyripes with a good canned tomato and those might be my favorite sauces, so you are definitely on the right track.

If you do use the oven reducing technique that is also a great time to make caramelized onions and roasted garlic.

Also,  I tried your tomato washing technique a few months ago and have never turned back.  You are a genius you Rubik's cube solving freakazoid. :)

Offline varasano

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Re: Blanching Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2006, 01:22:01 PM »
LOL... I am a freak. I made 4 batches of Mozzarella yesterday from scratch.   I definitely do NOT have a lot of tips to report, unless you like hockey puck cheese or ricotta pizza. But I just ordered a digital ph meter and some new cheese cultures...

So you are saying the milk itself is not 100% during the summer, huh?  That is surprising.   I'm a fan of bufala mozz, but I just can't get the product in a quality state. I hate my neighbors anyway, so I was thinking of grazing some water buffalo out by the gazebo. But now it looks like I might need to get them some A/C.

I was pretty disappointed in the fresh tomato but I figured that it could be used to brighten a can. So I'm going to try that. How much do you reduce the tomatoes in the oven? I'm guessing about 40%?

Thanks again scott for the always kind words :-)

Jeff



Offline scott r

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Re: Blanching Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2006, 05:28:27 PM »
I reduce until the desired consistency is reached ;D


Remember that all tomatoes come packed with a good amount of salt, so you are gong to need to add more than probably think you will need when working with fresh tomatoes.

Offline tonymark

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Re: Blanching Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2006, 07:32:51 PM »
Remember that all tomatoes come packed with a good amount of salt, so you are gong to need to add more than probably think you will need when working with fresh tomatoes.

I have been experimenting with a variety of processing techniques for my garden plum style tomatoes.  Peeled, not peeled, pureed, not pureed.  Lately I have been seeding, coring and leaving peels intact and then heavily pureeing.  I then add salt, strain and add fresh basil and a little minced garlic.

Here is my latest results:
Seeded and cored 1.73 kg fresh plum tomatoes (peels intact)
Yields 1.21 kg of puree
Add 3/4 tsp kosher salt.
Drain with a final yield of 670 g of thick sauce

TM
Making Pizza is not cooking, it is Performance Art!

Offline varasano

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Re: Blanching Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2006, 08:02:47 PM »
I did an oven roast. the tomatoes tasted good, and would be great on a bruschetta. But on the pizza I was not a fan. I think I'm done with this for a while. I may try adding a very small amount to a can.

I've been experimenting so much lately, that I'm ready to make my old recipe, just so I can have a sure fire winner. These last few pies have been so-so. There's a photo here:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20.msg29185.html#msg29185


 

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