If you’ve grown a boat load of tomatoes in the garden this year, or maybe you have a bunch of tomatoes you’d like to process, then making tomato purée is the perfect choice to use them up.
Making tomato purée is a straightforward process that can elevate many dishes with its rich, concentrated tomato flavor. The best type of tomatoes to use are either Roma or plum tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are one of the most ideal tomatoes to use to make sauce, ketchup, and preserving. The reason for this is that they have a lower water content in comparison to other varieties. This allows for less cooking time – there’s less water to cook off.
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What is Tomato Purée?
Tomato purée involves lightly cooking tomatoes and puréeing them to create a thick liquid. A purée is a “paste or thick liquid suspension usually made from cooked food ground finely.” (Webster dictionary, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puree )
To further differentiate tomato purée from paste, sauce, passata, and strained tomatoes, I thought it would be a great idea to briefly go over each one.
Tomato Purée vs Paste
Tomato purée and tomato paste are great staples in the kitchen, but they’re different. They differ in both how they’re made and how they’re used. Tomato paste is thicker than purée and has a richer, sweeter taste, while tomato purée has a tangy taste. Tomato purée can be made by using either a blender or food processor. Tomato paste is made by using a food mill that removes both the skin and seeds. The tomato needs to be cooked a lot longer to remove as much of the moisture as possible to produce a very thick paste.
Tomato Purée vs Sauce
What’s the difference between tomato purée and tomato sauce? Although all of these different products we can get from tomatoes may seem like the same thing, they do have differences. Tomato sauce can be sweeter since some people add sugar to it. Sugar is commonly added to sauce to take some of the acidity out of the tomato. However, a purée is just what it sounds like. The tomato is cooked and then puréed.
Tomato Purée vs Passata
Unlike a purée which uses cooked tomatoes that are then puréed, a passata uses fresh, ripe tomatoes. Passata doesn’t use cooked tomatoes, but instead uses raw ones. The tomatoes are peeled and then have the seeds taken out. After that, they are chopped and ground. There should be no water added to it, nor any herbs, onions, celery, or anything else for that matter. If there’s anything added in the jar, then it’s a tomato sauce and not a passata.
Tomato Purée vs Strained Tomatoes
The difference between tomato purée and strained tomatoes is the same as the above. Strained tomatoes can also be called passata.
Tomato Purée Uses
Tomato purée can be used for a thinner-based sauce for lots of different dishes. It can be used to make salsa, pizza sauce, and hot sauce.
Tomato Purée Recipe
Making a tomato purée is super simple. Follow these simple steps to make your own homemade tomato purée.
What You’ll Need:
- Large pot
- Blender or food processor
- Bowl of ice water
- Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth (optional)
- Slotted spoon
– Ripe tomatoes
How to Make Tomato Purée from Fresh Tomatoes
- First prepare the tomatoes. Start by selecting ripe, fresh tomatoes. Wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt or impurities. If you prefer, you can remove the stems.
2. The next step is to blanch the tomatoes. Bring a pot of water to a boil. With a sharp knife, lightly score an “X” on the bottom of each tomato. This will help in peeling the skin easily. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until you notice the skin starting to loosen.
3. Now it’s time to cool and peel the tomatoes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water. This sudden temperature change will help in loosening the skin further and stop the cooking process. Once cooled, the skins should easily peel off.
4. Then the tomatoes get blended. Cut the peeled tomatoes into quarters and remove the cores. Place the tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the quantity of tomatoes and the capacity of your blender.
5. This step is optional. For an extra-smooth puree, you can strain the blended tomatoes through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove seeds and any remaining pieces of skin. This step is optional and depends on your preference.
6. Once you have your smooth tomato puree, you can use it immediately in your recipe or store it. It can be refrigerated in an airtight container for a few days or frozen for longer-term storage.
Homemade tomato puree adds a vibrant, fresh taste to sauces, soups, stews, and various dishes. Experiment with different types of tomatoes for varying flavor profiles and enjoy using your own homemade purée in your culinary creations!
Frozen Tomato Purée
Does tomato purée freeze well? Yes, it does freeze well and can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months. Be sure to store it either in an air-tight container or a Ziplock bag. With a Ziplock bag it allows you to store the purée flat to save on room. Once you’re ready to use the tomato purée, there’s no wait period for thawing.