Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Home Canned Sweet and Sour Sauce

This is one of our family's favortie ways to use up garden produce. We've outgrown the pint-size jars and so this year I chose to can this sauce in 3 cup jars. I didn't even know they existed until I started searching for them, knowing a quart of sauce would be too much. They are as tall as quart jars, but skinnier. I hope they will be the perfect size for our needs.

I use this sauce to create a quick dinner. Pour it over cooked chicken or meatballs and then serve over rice. We all love it!

If you don't have garden tomatoes, you can start with cans of crushed tomatoes. Just puree them with a hand imersion blender or a food processor until you have eight cups. Trust me, if your family likes the sweet and sour flavor, you will be so glad you went to the work. Feel free to freeze this recipe if you don't want to can it.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

8 cups tomato puree
4 cups chopped onion
4 cups chopped green pepper
2 (20 oz) cans pineapple chunks
½ cup soy sauce
3 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
6 cups sugar
2+ cups Ultra Gel or Ultra Sperse*

Put tomatoes through a Victorio strainer, or food mill, to make tomato puree. If you don't have a food mill, you can peel and chop the tomatoes and put them through a sieve to remove the seeds. Or, leave the seeds in there if your family doesn't object. Chop onions and peppers into desired size pieces. (We like them a little larger for this recipe.) Combine the ultra gel and sugar in a large bowl and set aside. Combine all other ingredients in a large pan. Do not drain the pineapple; add juice and all. Bring to a boil and add the ultra gel/sugar mixture. Stirring well until thickened. Bring back to a boil and ladle into warm pint or quart jars and process in a boiling water bath. Process jars for 35 minutes (sea level). Adjust for altitude if needed. Makes about 12 pints or 6 quarts.

* Ultra Gel is an instant thickener made from corn. Flour and cornstarch break down in the freezer and in the canning jar. Ultra Gel holds up nicely for years. Ultra Gel is also available under some other names. Some places sell Ultra Sperse and others sell Ultra Maxigel or instand Clear-jel. All of these products are the same and can be used interchangeably in this recipe. 

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