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I'm making a tomato sauce from a bounty of fresh tomatoes. I put in onions, garlic, and carrot, plus some herbs. The problem is that it is really acidic (sour) tasting. What can I do to mellow it out? (I've tried to add sugar but it is also pretty sweet already).

asked by monkeymom over 5 years ago
14 answers 1150 views
Ddd52943 cdf0 4edb a2d4 73aa286607f0  399571 2853636453848 1694221275 n
added over 5 years ago

A pinch or 2 of instant ground coffee...this according to Simone Beck's book Simca's Cuisine. I've never tried it, but it's a helluva creative solution!! It's actually a cool book!

51d6debe 8184 4f26 9614 c25e2aa571c3  p3200173
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 5 years ago

I'm slightly baffled as the combination of onion and carrot should provide enough sweetness. Is the garlic old? That will add bitterness. The addition of sugar makes me cringe. Depending on how you are using your sauce, you might think about adding milk to it as in sauce Bolognese which would combine mixed meats with the ingredients you described----but I would only do that if you were preparing a sauce for pasta. My suggestion would be to leave it alone until you get closer to the finish line for your meal, and then figure out if you need dairy in there.

9920059c c14d 4755 965d d880979c2f61  monkeys
added over 5 years ago

I know, right? I softened the onions and carrots too before adding the tomatoes. The garlic is fresh. The sauce is definitely not bitter, just tart. I've heard of adding dairy or butter but was wondering what else others might do.

7246fd31 8efd 4e70 b30d 251172d33226  turkey 2008
added over 5 years ago

a little heavy cream, or half-and-half

Ddd52943 cdf0 4edb a2d4 73aa286607f0  399571 2853636453848 1694221275 n
added over 5 years ago

I've resorted to butter before. How did the tomatoes taste before? Maybe the problem started there.

9920059c c14d 4755 965d d880979c2f61  monkeys
added over 5 years ago

Well, I suppose acidity is good for canning anyways. I can adjust later as pierino suggests and use the sauce for bolognese.

Fff96a46 7810 4f5c a452 83604ac1e363  dsc03010
added over 5 years ago

Cook's Illustrated says to sweat the onions in butter. I haven't tried it this way yet because this was a lousy year for tomatoes here and I didn't get my usual bomper crop.

I'd go with what TiggyBee says about Simone Beck. A friend of Julia Child's can't be wrong, right?

E0cc9d5c 6544 49fb b0e4 5c150d9ac0f7  imag0055
added over 5 years ago

I gave up making tomato sauce on top of the stove long ago. I make it in the oven. I spread lots of tomatoes (any kind) in a big roasting pan (mine is nonstick), then sprinkle them with salt and pepper and add some olive oil, a handful of basil (if I have it), maybe an onion, and sometimes a tablespoon or two of brown sugar or a whole head of unpeeled garlic. I set the oven at 250 or so and forget about it for 6-8 hours. The main idea is that slowly roasting the tomatoes into a sauce seems to concentrate their sweetness. When the tomatoes are no longer liquid-y, I put them through a food mill. It's a wonderful recipe if you work all day, too.

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added over 5 years ago

More olive oil. And basil.

73cd846c b69c 41fe 8f8b 7a3aa8dd3b93  desert
added over 5 years ago

To balance acidity I use any one these honey, Sugar, carmelized onions. I have run into this with fresh tomato's but if a pinch of sugar is good enough for Escoffier then I suppose it would be OK.

73cd846c b69c 41fe 8f8b 7a3aa8dd3b93  desert
added over 5 years ago

If this helps.http://www.recipesecrets...

693453b7 7e84 4b19 b610 d1ec77bbc42d  halloween
added over 5 years ago

go for the buttah- I had a very similar experience w a sauce this weekend and I tried a few tbsp of butter for the first time based on a recommendation from somewhere on here! It really balanced the flavors (I had 2 onions and 4 grated carrots in there already which didn't help- the butter brought it all together, seemed to reduce the acidity, and the sauce turned out great in the end).

4d625ded d965 42c7 b1ee ec9d7dc7fb4e  profilepic
added over 5 years ago

This won't help this time, but in the future, seeding the tomatoes makes for a less acidic (and less watery) sauce. Simply blanch tomatoes for 45 seconds to 1 minute, shock them in an ice bath, score the bottom of each to remove the peels, and squeeze gently over the sink -- the seeds will slip right out. The result is a thicker, less acidic tomato base.

9920059c c14d 4755 965d d880979c2f61  monkeys
added over 5 years ago

Update: Made bolognese with some of the tomato sauce. Added some tomato paste and whole milk along with pork and beef. The resulting sauce was silky and delicious. The tomato paste really helped add another layer of smooth rich tomato-y flavor. These tomatoes were end of the season, not exactly in their prime, but they contributed to a great sauce! Though I was at first disappointed about how the sauce turned out, now I'm looking forward to using the rest. Thanks to all again for your suggestions.