Tomato Tuesday: Real Tomato Ketchup Recipe

Real tomato ketchup, Eddie? Oh, nothing but the best for this Tomato Tuesday.  When I was a child, my mother made and canned homemade ketchup.  I hated it.  It wasn’t the taste, it was the look.  I wanted smooth, shiny and bright red — in other words, I wanted store-bought.   Thankfully my tastes have matured and I have developed an appreciation for things that don’t come in plastic squeeze bottles.  This ketchup doesn’t look store-bought and, luckily, it doesn’t taste like it either.  It has a sweet, tangy flavor with a vinegary kick at the end.  A bit more sophisticated than the bright red concoction from Pittsburgh.

This recipe, Rory O’Connell’s Tomato Ketchup, is from Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills of Cooking.  I like this first because of flavor, second because it makes a small, manageable amount — it only calls for 3 1/2 pounds of tomatoes (about 6 medium to large) versus the ketchup recipe from Ball which calls for 24 pounds of tomatoes.

Which one of these is not like the other?

Rory O’Connell’s Tomato Ketchup

Makes 6 x 8 fluid ounce bottles

3 1/2 lb tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 lb eating apples**, peeled, cored and chopped (weigh after peeling and coring)

1 lb onions, chopped

2 1/4 cups sugar

2 cups cider vinegar

1 level tablespoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

6 black peppercorns

6 allspice/ pimento berries

6 cloves

Place all the ingredients in a stainless-steel saucepan.  Bring to a boil and summer for about 1 hour, stirring regularly to avoid sticking, until it has the consistency of ketchup.

Leave to cool for 4-5 minutes, then blend to a smooth puree.  If the consistency is a bit thin, return to the saucepan and cook to reduce further.  Remember: it will thicken as it cools. Pour into sterilized glass bottles and store in a cool, dry place, for 3 months or more.*

*Allen says you can just pour the hot ketchup into sterilized glass bottles then store on the shelf.  Now, I know that between the vinegar and the tomatoes the acidity rate is pretty high but I still just can’t bring myself to let this sit on the shelve without a bit of insurance.  I canned the ketchup — also known as boiling-water heat processing — allowing the ketchup to process in the boiling water for 15 minutes.

Tomato Ketchup Tips

  • I let the ketchup cook down, on low, for about 30 minutes after I pureed it.  Mainly because I was busy preparing the jars and for the canning process.
  • Allen recommends Cox’s orange pippin apples — I have no idea what these are, I used Gala apples.   Why add apples  – perhaps it’s the natural pectin, perhaps it adds sweetness?
  • Peeling tomatoes – you can poach the tomatoes briefly in hot water to loosen the skin, since I only had 6 tomatoes to peel, I just used a vegetable peeler.

4 responses to “Tomato Tuesday: Real Tomato Ketchup Recipe

  1. I’ll have to remember you’ve done this recipe,when my tomatoes have ripened and harvested.Looks yummy,and you’re right the quanities make a difference.Never enough storage space!

  2. Very nice, I see yet another use for our upcoming tomatolanche.

  3. Awesome. I bet it is a great BBQ sauce base as well.

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