A saucy affair with tomatoes

With a tasty tomato harvest, you'll find you have one of the easiest and most flavoursome crops to preserve, and Helen McKerral has some tips to help you fill your pantry with goodness!

Preserving tomatoes
Photo: Helen McKerral

Tomatoes are one of the best vegetables to preserve at home because they retain their flavour and, unlike tinned ones, have zero food miles. Tomato preserves are shelf stable: no electricity required. And you can re-use glass bottles and preserving jars indefinitely – mine are mostly preloved and older than me. A sustainability win-win! 

Tasty Tomato Sauce


6kg washed, chopped, ripe tomatoes (deseeding optional)

1kg finely chopped onions

1kg cored chopped apples

75g chopped garlic

2 thumbs grated ginger

2 teaspoons cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons allspice

2 teaspoons ground black peppercorns

4 chopped chillies (optional)

2 cups red wine vinegar

2 cups white vinegar 

6 teaspoons salt 

1kg sugar

1. Place all ingredients except sugar into a large, heavy-based pot. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1.5–2 hours until soft, stirring regularly. 

2. Pass through a sieve (or blend) and return to pan. Add sugar and simmer until thick, stirring constantly.

3. Pour into warm sterilised bottles while still hot and seal immediately.

4. Store in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate after opening.


Helen has more preserving and growing tips in our September/October 2021 issue (OG 128) – purchase a copy today and have it delivered!

By: Helen McKerral

First published: September 2021

Related topics

Plants & Vegetables, All Gardens, Sauces, make your own, Issue 128 -- September/October 2021, Preserving