For several years now, I have put up stewed tomatoes in pint jars, processing them in a waterbath. This year, I have a lot more tomatoes than usual, so I decided to make a batch of Italian-style tomato sauce (i.e., spaghetti sauce).
I used 20 lbs of tomatoes which were peeled, seeded, & cooked down (with seasonings) to fill 7 pint jars. The jars & lids were sterilized for 10-15 minutes in a boiling water bath, then filled hot, and then processed in a boiling waterbath for 35 minutes. Once removed & cooled, they all had sealed well & looked delicious.
My question is this: Someone told me after I was done that I needed to add lemon juice to the sauce, and without it, the sauce would not be acidic enough to be properly preserved. I did not add lemon juice, and was under the impression that tomatoes were one of the few things that could be safely processed in a waterbath, due to their acidity. I am now, however, uncertain as to whether this sauce is unsafe due to the lack of lemon juice? I've never had trouble with the stewed tomatoes, but with the sauce, since the tomatoes were seeded, I wondered if maybe this reduced the acidity significantly?
I'd hate to discard so much hard work, but am at a loss for an answer. Any insight appreciated! Thanks,