Homemade Tomato Puree - Gateway to Ketchup, Relish, Sauce, Chutney
Make tomato puree by cooking washed, quartered ripe tomatoes gently in a large stock pan over medium-low heat until they become very soft. Stir often to prevent sticking. This is a slow food process; do not rush. It may take 90 minutes for a large stock pot of tomatoes to melt down. Run them through your Foley Food Mill, an indispensable, indestructible, inexpensive food preservation tool.
Return the juice to your large stock pot and continue cooking slowly until at least a third of the liquid evaporates, thickening your tomato juice into puree. You can also cook down juice in a large stainless steel dishpan in a 300 degree oven, stirring every 20 minutes.
The time required varies greatly. If you start with paste-type tomatoes, the juice-to-puree transformation happens more quickly. The juicy tomatoes that make great summer salads take longer and yield less puree but still taste wonderful.