Are you getting enough ketchup in your diet?
I’m wrapping up TOMATO WEEK with this stuff:
I know what you’re gonna say:
Why on earth would I go through the trouble of making my own ketchup when I can easily grab a bottle from any store?
My answer to that question is this question:
Which ketchup looks like real food to you:
It used to not bother me how shiny and plastic store-bought ketchup was. And then I experienced the robust, earthy qualities of homemade ketchup.
In case you’re still on the fence about trying homemade ketchup:
- This is an easy, crock-pot recipe.
- This recipe contains NO CORN SYRUP or fillers.
- This recipe is a great way to use up those kinda wrinkly, over-ripe, not-so-pretty tomatoes that are sitting on your counter.
- This recipe tastes like the real deal!
Ok, let’s stop talking and make some homemade ketchup!
Cook’s suggested making clove-infused oil: the secret ingredient in ketchup. I decided to combine steps by sauteing three whole cloves with half a small, chopped onion instead:
Cook’s suggested using canned whole tomatoes while Fine Cooking suggested homemade tomato puree.
I decided to use several of my ugly, over-ripe, wrinkly homegrown tomatoes, instead.
COOK’S NOTE: To boost flavor and reduce liquid, core and quarter tomatoes, squeeze the seeds and excess juice out, and give them a quick toss in the same pan for 30-60 seconds:
In a pestle and mortar, roughly bash up a 1″ piece of cinnamon stick, a heaping 1/8th teaspoon whole allspice berries and 6 whole white peppercorns.
Cinnamon?? Did you say add CINNAMON??
I know it sounds crazy, and you may be tempted to leave the pie spices out, but let me tell you: THEY MAKE KETCHUP KETCHUP!
Throw the spices in with the tomatoes, onions and cloves along with:
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of celery seed
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
Give everything a good stir and cook on “LOW” heat for…forever. I started the crock-pot at 10am and didn’t get home until 9:30pm and things were looking fine and dandy. (So I’d say cook at least 8 hours.)
Drain as much excess liquid from the mixture as possible:
Next, dump the whole mixture in a blender and puree until smooth:
Strain the ketchup through a sieve to separate out all those dried spice and tomato peel bits:
And there you have it, folks: pure, unadulterated homemade ketchup.
At this point, test the seasonings.
Cook’s Note: I added 1/2 teaspoon more salt to the ketchup, but better to add extra salt after the ketchup has cooked versus before.
Cook’s suggested adding tomato paste to further thicken the ketchup, while Fine Cooking instructed simmering the ketchup on the stove for at least 65 minutes.
I decided to skip both of these steps in favor of time and all-fresh ingredients, by straining the mixture for a few hours or overnight in a paper towel-lined sieve:
Overall, I’m extremely very pleased with this homemade ketchup experiment. Sometimes, it’s nice to take the long way around a dish; to stop and smell the tomatoes.
Have YOU ever made or tried homemade ketchup before?
A shout-out to my friends Brenda and Lora who inspired me to give this condiment a whirl. 🙂
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 whole cloves
- 8-10 medium, ripe tomatoes (roughly 4 cups), cored and quartered
- 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
- heaping 1/8 teaspoon whole allspice berries
- 6 white peppercorns
- heaping 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- Saute onions and cloves in oil over medium-high heat until onions are glossy. Add onions to a 3-quart or larger crock pot. Keep cloves in the pan.
- Squeeze the seeds and excess juice from the tomatoes and saute in batches in the pan with the cloves for 30-60 seconds. Add to the crock.
- Roughly crush the cinnamon, allspice and peppercorns in a pestle and add to the crock along with the celery seed, sugar, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir and cook on “low” heat for at least 8 hours.
- Cool mixture slightly, drain off excess liquid and puree until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve. Season with an addition 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste.
- For thicker ketchup, pour mixture into a paper towel or cheesecloth-lined sieve, set over a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight in the fridge.
Here are some more tomato recipes for your pinning/sharing/cooking pleasure: