This past weekend I got my annual 100 pounds of tomatoes from a local market for canning. Usually I make crushed tomatoes and some tomato sauce, it is the best use of the tomatoes, and honestly the fastest. This year, however, I had a very large request from a very small boy - for ketchup.
Now, I am not a ketchup person. I don't like it and never have. For my son, it seems to be another food group. Most days he requests an egg burrito with ketchup for breakfast, which means we go through an awful lot of the stuff. And it is not cheap to buy organic ketchup!
I told him I would make it, and make it I did! I used the recipe for Tomato Ketchup from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
What I didn't realize is that it would take for-ev-er for the ketchup to reduce down. I think I did realize this in my head, but when you read in the instructions "about 45 minutes" you think it means 45 minutes...not 4 hours!
Without further ado - a ketchup recipe for my son Jack.
3T celery seed
4tsp whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (broken into pieces)
1 & 1/2tsp whole allspice
3 cups cider vinegar
24lbs tomatoes, cored and quartered
3 cups chopped onions
1tsp cayenne pepper
1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4cup pickling or canning salt
Tie celery seed, cloves, cinnamon, allspice in some cheesecloth, creating a spice bag
Combine vinegar and spice bag, bring to boil, remove from heat and let stand 25 minutes. Then remove spice bag.
Meanwhile, in a *very* large stainless steel saucepan, combine tomatoes, onions and cayenne. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently for 20 minutes. Add vinegar and boil gently until mixture starts to thicken - about 30 minutes.
Working in batches, transfer mixture to a sieve placed over a glass or stainless steel bowl, and press with the back of a spoon to extract all the liquid. Discard solids.
Return liquid to saucepan. Add sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until volume is reduced by half and mixture is about the consistency of store bought ketchup. (My instructions say about 45 minutes, it took at least 3 hours of gentle boiling for mine to reduce. Just watch it.)
Prepare canner, jars and lids.
Ladle hot ketchup into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until fingertip-tight.
Place jars in canner, bring to boil. Process 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
Do you have a favorite way to preserve tomatoes? What are you preserving from your garden right now?
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