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Tomato Puree


Tomato Puree

Tomato Puree

Photo © Molly Watson
Tomato puree is silky smooth, free of any seeds or skin that tend to make their way into chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce. It freezes beautifully, keeps in the fridge for up to a week, or can be canned, as explained below (note, canning tomatoes is one of the only times you'll see me calling for bottled lemon juice - you want its reliable acid level when canning tomatoes).

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes


  • Fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • If you're canning you'll also need a pint jar, lid, and ring for every 1 1/2 lbs. of tomatoes (approximately)and 1/4 tsp. citric acid or 1 Tbsp. bottled lemon juice for each pint jar


  1. Starting with clean, dry tomatoes, halve smaller ones and roughly chop larger tomatoes. Put them all in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain an active simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes start to break down, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Run the tomato mixture through a food mill or whirl quickly in a blender or food processor and run through a fine-mesh sieve. This removes the seeds and bit of skin and makes for a smooth real purée.
  3. If you had fairly watery tomatoes, you may want to put the purée back in the pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook to reduce it to the texture you want.
  4. To chill or freeze: Transfer purée to sealable container(s) and chill or freeze until ready to use.

    To can: Bring a large canning kettle full of water to a boil. Sterilize the pint jars by boiling them for 10 minutes and allow to air dry. Soften the lids by simmering them for a few minutes. Put 1/4 tsp. citric acid or 1 Tbsp. bottle lemon juice in each pint jar. Fill each jar with hot tomato purée, leaving about 1/2 inch head space at the top of the jar. Set lids on and secure with rings. Lower into the canning kettle and boil for 35 minutes. Remove, let cool, and store in a cool dark cupboard for up to a year.

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