While any tomato can be used to make paste, the kind of tomato you pick will make a difference in your final yield.
DIY Recipes: How to make Tomato paste at home
Homemade tomato paste is entirely different and utterly more delicious.
10 pounds tomatoes (See Recipe Note)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon citric acid, or 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat to 350°F.
Chop tomatoes into quarters. Quarter the tomatoes.
Simmer the tomatoes with olive oil. Place the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft and the peels begin to detach from the tomato flesh.
Pass the tomatoes through a food mill. Push the warm tomatoes through a food mill, sieve, or chinois to separate the tomato pulp from the seeds and skins. Stir the sea salt and citric acid or lemon juice into the pulp. Discard or compost the seeds and skins.
Place the pulp on 2 baking sheets. Divide the tomato pulp between 2 large, rimmed baking sheets. You can also use a large roasting pan, but it will take longer to cook down that way.
Bake the tomato pulp until reduced to a paste. Place the baking sheets in the oven. Check the tomatoes every half hour, stirring the paste and switching the position of the baking sheets so that they reduce evenly. Over time, the paste will start to reduce to the point where it doesn’t fill the baking sheet anymore. At this point, combine the contents of the two baking sheets into one and continue to bake.
Bake until reduced by more than half. The paste is done when shiny, brick-coloured, and reduced by more than half, 3 to 4 hours, though exact baking times will depend on the juiciness of your tomatoes. There shouldn’t be any remaining water or moisture separating from the paste at this point.
Transfer the paste into jars. Divide the finished paste into 4-ounce jars, leaving 3/4-inch headspace.
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