It’s time to save seeds from all those wonderful tomatoes coming out of the garden. I remember my grandmother’s little seed packets that she made herself using paper envelopes and the seeds from her garden. I remember using them to plant, but I don’t remember her drying the seeds in the fall, so I wasn’t sure how she did it. I’ve been working on the tomato pie recipe and almost have it right, but not quite yet. In the process of making those pies, I decided to save some tomato seeds, and I need to show this before we get to the pies in case you want to save yours too. These tomatoes came from my garden, all except the large yellow one.
Tomato seeds are embedded in tomato jelly, and I found an easy way to get them clean by doing an internet search. I really do not know if my gran did it this way or not, but it worked very well, so here is how I did it. First, I gathered my tomatoes, and labeled three vintage mason jars with the three different varieties. Start by cutting the tomatoes in half along the middle horizontally.
Scoop the seeds and jelly into the jar, getting as much out as you can.
Now, add some water to the jar, not a lot, about the same amount as the seeds and jelly. Roughly double the volume.
Here is the Cherokee Purple seeded with its jar of seeds and water. There was a bit more I went back to get. The idea is to remove a lot of the moisture from the tomatoes as it makes the pies soggy.
Then I did several red heirlooms.
I like yellow tomatoes too, this one came from the store. By saving its seeds, I might have some in my garden next year.
Now, let them sit on the counter and ferment for several days. I left mine for a week, shaking the jars several times over the week. A week later, there is a definite separation between the pulp and the water.
Now, dump the seeds into a fine mesh strainer and rinse under running water.
The jelly will rinse off easily.
Then spread the seeds out on a paper towel and allow them to dry. I wrote the variety on the towel and prepared a little plastic bag to hold them with a bit of paper labeled with the name. Each variety got its own paper towel for drying. Those seeds look identical, so you have to take care in labeling and keeping them straight with more than one variety.
I let the seeds dry for a least a day, and put them in the little bags. I stored them with my other seeds in the basement, cool and dry. I hope that they grow next year, will see!! The second harvest gave me more red heirlooms and a medium size Cherokee purple.
I made the first pie, and didn’t like the results, too soupy and the crust wasn’t done right.
Second try, I prebaked the shell which helped a lot. But it still wasn’t right.
It looks good, and it tasted good, not soupy, but the ratio of topping to tomatoes was off.
So, yet another to be made. More Cherokee Purples from the garden, along with some basic red slicers locally grown from the store.
And I’ll save more seeds just to be increase the odds that I get viable ones.
Have you ever saved seeds?