Ketchup is a widely used condiment and tastes great on a hot dog or fries. The downside to store bought ketchup, or catsup, is that it often contains ingredients like high fructose corn syrup. My wife and I received several extra pounds of tomatoes and decided to make ketchup.
The great thing about this recipe is that it was easy to make and tastes amazing. We used the recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
Things you will need
Kitchen Aid Mixer with Fruit/Vegetable Strainer or a Food Mill
The nice thing about this recipe is that the tomatoes are sent through a strainer or food mill. This means the tomatoes only need to have the ends trimmed and the cores removed. The skins will be removed through the straining process.
To start off place the cut and cored tomatoes into a steel pot along with the chopped onion. Aluminum will react with the tomatoes and should not be used.
While the tomatoes are cooking add your spices to a spice bag. If you don’t have a spice bag, as in my case, add the spices directly to the pot and filter out later with a coffee filter.
Add in the cider vinegar to the pot. In the case of this batch of ketchup we used celery seeds, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and whole allspice.
Let the vinegar boil, and then remove from heat. Allow the spices to sit in the vinegar for at least 25 minutes. The spices can be discarded afterward.
Once the tomatoes have come to a boil reduce the heat and let them boil gently for about 20 minutes. Add the vinegar at this point and let it boil gently until it thickens.
After this has completed allow the tomatoes to cool. Next is when we ran the tomatoes through our kitchen aid attachment. The fruit/vegetable strainer makes life a lot easier. If you don’t have a kitchen aid mixer, or the attachment, you can use a food mill.
After the ketchup has been strained return to the pot and add in salt and sugar. The book suggests letting it boil gently for about 45 minutes or until the volume is reduce by half. It took a bit longer for this batch. It all depends on how much water the tomatoes contain.
After the ketchup has thickened to the level you like prepare your jars for canning. Ladle in the hot ketchup and leave a 1/2 inch headspace. Boil the jars for 15 minutes, or adjusted for altitude.
After the ketchup has sealed stand back and enjoy your handy work.
Better yet, enjoy some of that ketchup on an all beef hotdog.
Now you’ve got the ketchup down, on to making homemade relish and mustard… but that’s a post for another time.
– Jason Snell