Homemade Ketchup

As you saw last week, we’ve got more than enough tomatoes to go around.  BLTs and roasting them for pasta just isn’t getting us through them very fast so I tried something that will keep for awhile as well as take care of more than a few tomatoes at a time.

I went back to what’s quickly becoming my favorite book; Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it, and found a great recipe for ketchup.  The recipe in the book calls for store bought canned tomatoes, but I was determined to use ours fresh from the garden.

To get them ready for the ketchup I quickly blanched them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes before moving them to a ice water bath.  After blanching the skin peels right off and breaks them down a bit.

Next up the tomatoes got a quick spin in the blender to liquify them.

Then a whole onion gets a spin with a little bit of tomato juice.

The blended onion went from the blender to a stock pot of heated canola oil to bubble, splatter and brown for a bit.

Once it’s browned and reduced a bit you add in the blended tomato, champagne vinegar and brown sugar.

While that was bubbling and reducing, I prepared my spice bundle.

I tried to use a bit of muslin to use in place of cheese cloth but I was having trouble knotting it without having little holes for them to slip out.  I also worried about the fabric being to thick to let the spices really blend into the tomato.

Back up plan?  My reusable strainer for tea!  The cinnamon stick obviously wasn’t going to fit so I let him hang out in the tomato on it’s own.  I figured he’d be easy enough to get out later.

Next it was time to let the whole thing simmer and reduce, and reduce, and reduce.  It was taking much longer than called out in the recipe to thicken up.  I played with the heat setting but I think it was just done.

From there I poured the whole mix into a glass canning jar sealed it up and let it cool for a bit before I put it in the fridge overnight.

For dinner we had the big taste test.  How was it going to taste on burgers?  Well, while it didn’t look and taste quite like the store bought ketchup, it was really good!  I was really excited!  It’s a little bit sweet than what you’d find in the store.  You can use your discretion to add more or less spice as you go if you’d like something that’s a bit more peppery.  (side note: local watermelon, lettuce, buns and burger whoop! whoop!)

With this recipe you get a full 32 oz. jar that’s good for 2 months.  I really like having something made with our garden veggies that we can enjoy after the season is over and maybe tide us over to next spring if we time it right.

Have any of you tried re-creating store bought basics at home?

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