Canned Sweet and Sour Sauce – Thick Gel

It may have come a little late, but my tomato crop has finally come on! It’s a matter of great excitement and tomato sandwiches, but there are only so many tomatoes you can eat before coming up with a way to store them for a rainy day. This year I decided that in addition to my salsa and tomato sauce I wanted to can some sweet and sour sauce. I love the flavors of home canned sweet and sour sauce and I love knowing there aren’t any odd colors or preservatives I don’t know about. Not to mention how convenient it is just to open a jar, add some meat and veg and pour over rice. Dinner in less than 30 minutes. You just can’t beat that!

This recipe is thickened with Thick Gel and is thickened before going into the jar. Thick Gel has been tested safe for canned applications which is why this works. Recipes based on flour or cornstarch as a thickener should not be canned as they are generally not safe because of the way they thicken. Trust me, use the Thick Gel. 🙂

sweet and sour jar sweet and sour

Canned Sweet and Sour Sauce

4 cups tomatoes, peeled and diced

2 cups bell peppers, medium dice

1 cup white onion, medium dice

20 ounces canned crushed pineapple

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce (Lite will also work)

2 cups apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)

1/2 cup Thick Gel

1/2 cup sugar

In a heavy sauce pan combine tomatoes, peppers, onion, pineapple, sugar and soy sauce. Mix together well and cook until the fruits and vegetables are slightly soft and the juice is at a boil. In a separate container combine the Thick Gel and additional sugar. Whisk in vinegar until you have a smooth mixture. Add mixture to the boiling vegetables. It will thicken quickly so keep stirring as you add. Let cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust sugar or spices as desired. If it is too thick you can thin with a little additional pineapple juice or tomato juice.

Fill jars, leaving ½” to 3/4” headspace. Adjust lids and process immediately in water bath canner for 25 minutes (sea level). Add five minutes processing time for elevations of 1,000 to 3,000 feet and ten minutes for elevations from 3,000 to 5,000 feet.


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