Sunday, October 18, 2009

Super Concentrated Tomato Paste

One of my final tomato preserving projects of the season was to make tomato paste. I started with 10+ pounds of Blue Beech paste tomatoes.

The tomatoes were washed, cut in half lengthwise, and layered cut side up in my largest roasting pan. Those got baked in a 300F oven for about 2 hours, cooled, and then pureed with a food mill. The puree was then simmered on the lowest flame that my stove can produce for a few hours. I stirred it every so often. Once the puree was reduced by about a third I ladled it into shallow trays that fit on the racks of my dehydrator. At this point the puree still weeps a watery juice.

It took a few hours to reduce down to a very thick paste. The edges of the puree dry more quickly and can get leathery so I stir the puree a few times during the drying process.

The final result is a very thick paste that doesn't weep any watery juice at all. I like to stir the paste together in a bowl and chill it before packing it into containers for the freezer.

The final result was 27 ounces, 5 ounces per container and one little 2 ounce log rolled in plastic wrap. The paste has such a high sugar content that it doesn't freeze as hard as a rock. I can usually pop it out of the container while frozen and cut off chunks without thawing the entire contents.


  1. Nice. I only dream of having enough tomatoes for paste. I don't even make enough sauce for all my needs.

  2. Mmmm, this sounds like a great way to preserve tomatoes, much more reduced than I do it for keeping in jars.

  3. Amazing. I wonder if a crock pot would reduce it anywhere near that. . . the temperature would probably be higher than your dehydrator, though.

    How do you use it? Soups, I imagine. . .

  4. Wow, that's beautiful! I've never heard of that kind of tomato.

  5. Thanks everyone for the comments!

    Stefani, the paste can certainly be used to flavor soups and stews, risotto, to give sauces an extra boost of tomato flavor. You can add it to pasta dough or bread dough. I found a recipe that adds it to a spread for crostini. And I'm sure there's more uses...

  6. OK, I am trying your tip about using the dehydrator to make tomato paste. I wondered if you had blogged about your method and I am happy to see you did! I

    1. Cool, I had forgotten that I had posted about it, 2009 seems like such a long time ago.


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