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Make Your Own Ketchup

Standard Tomato Ketchup
Country Western Ketchup
Blender Ketchup

K
etchup used to be made out of just about anything. Consider, for instance, these recipes from a century ago for ketchup made from grapes, plums and mushrooms.  But in modern times, tomato ketchup has captured all but a tiny drop of the market for the popular condiment. 

If you’re looking for something new to do with the bounty of tomatoes in the final flush of summer, consider making some ketchup of your own.  Here are three recipes, the latter of which uses an electric blender to eliminate the need for pressing or sieving.


Standard Tomato Ketchup
(Yields 6 to 7 pints)

24 lbs ripe tomatoes
3 cups onions, chopped
3/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
3 cups cider vinegar (5%)
4 tsp whole cloves
3 sticks cinnamon, crushed
1-1/2 tsp whole allspice
3 tbsp celery seeds
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup salt


Follow the directions that appear below the next recipe.


Country Western Ketchup
(Yields 6 to 7 pints)



24 lbs ripe tomatoes
5 chili peppers, sliced and seeded
1/4 cup salt
2-2/3 cups vinegar (5%)
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
4 tsp paprika
4 tsp whole allspice
4 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp whole peppercorns
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp bay leaves



1. Wash tomatoes. Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split. Dip in cold water. Slip off skins and remove cores. Quarter tomatoes into a 4-gallon stock pot or a large kettle.

2. Add onions and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

3. Combine spices in a spice bag and add to vinegar in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to boil. Cover, turn off heat, and let stand for 20 minutes. Then remove spice bag and stir vinegar into tomato mixture. Boil for about 30 minutes.

4. Put boiled mixture through a food mill or sieve. Return to pot. Add sugar and salt, boil gently, and stir frequently until volume is reduced by one-half or until mixture rounds up on spoon without separation.

5. Fill pint jars, leaving 1/8-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process jars in boiling water bath. Process pint jars for 15 minutes at an elevation of sea level to 1,000 feet, 20 minutes from 1,000 to 6,000 feet and 25 minutes above 6,000 feet.


Blender Ketchup
(Yields 9 pints)

24 lbs ripe tomatoes
2 lbs onions
1 lb sweet red peppers
1 lb sweet green peppers
9 cups vinegar (5%)
9 cups sugar
1/4 cup canning or pickling salt
3 tbsp dry mustard
1-1/2 tbsp ground red pepper
1-1/2 tbsp whole allspice
1-1/2 tbsp whole cloves
3 three-inch sticks of cinnamon

1. Wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split. Then dip in cold water, slip off skins, core, and quarter. Remove seeds from peppers and slice into strips. Peel and quarter onions. Blend tomatoes, peppers, and onions at high speed for 5 seconds in electric blender.

2. Pour into a 3- to 4-gallon stock pot or large kettle and heat. Boil gently for 60 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, and a spice bag containing dry mustard, red pepper, and other spices. Continue boiling and stirring until volume is reduced one-half and ketchup rounds up on a spoon with no separation of liquid and solids.

4. Remove spice bag and fill jars, leaving 1/8-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process jars in boiling water bath. Process pint jars for 15 minutes at an elevation of sea level to 1,000 feet, 20 minutes from 1,000 to 6,000 feet and 25 minutes above 6,000 feet.


Recipes reprinted from the Complete Guide to Home Canning, Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1994.


Copyright 2005 Seasonal Chef