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LIFE, UNEDITED: How to Quick-Preserve Tomatoes

This easy method is faster than canning and provides summer-ripe tomatoes all year round.

Editor’s Note: This blog post is part of our team’s “Kitchen Tricks & Slips” series, where we offer suggestions on recipe modifications, helpful tips, and real-life challenges so you can avoid similar messes in your cooking experiments. As any recipe only offers guidance, not guaranteed results, we encourage you to play with these recipes, too, and find what works best for you. We’d love to hear what you cook up!

There’s no comparing a ripe, end-of-summer tomato with the icy flesh of a midwinter one. You can save those juicy gems that you’re harvesting now with this quick preservation trick — without the time commitment and hassle of canning!

tomatoes 1Any size and variety will work for this method.

tomatoes 2With a sharp, serrated knife, score (read: a very shallow cut) the bottom of the tomato in an “x” pattern.

tomatoes 3Prepare a pot of gently boiling water, and an ice bath in a bowl placed nearby. Have a slotted spoon at the ready as well.

tomatoes 4Lower your tomato into the pot of boiling water using the slotted spoon to avoid splattering yourself with hot water (a trick I learned too late). After about 15 to 20 seconds — just until the skin starts to curl at the edges — scoop out the tomato and place into the ice bath immediately. This will stop the cooking process.

tomatoes 5When you remove the tomato from the ice bath after a minute or two, you’ll notice that the skin has started to peel away. Carefully strip away the skin and discard.

tomatoes 6With a paring knife, or other coring utensil you might have on hand, cut away the stem of the tomato.

tomatoes 7Place skinned and cored tomatoes in Mason jars or other freezer-friendly containers, seal the lid tightly, and store in the freezer until ready to use. Delicious in soups, stews, sauces — anywhere you’d use canned tomatoes (allow to thaw overnight in the fridge if recipe is temperature specific).

This canning cheat will provide you with months and months of late-summer, fresh-picked tomato flavor.

TELL US: What methods are you using to preserve your fall harvest? Share in the comments section below, or on Twitter at @ExperienceLife.

Find out how to save tomato seeds with this handy guide.

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