Make Your Own Tomato Ketchup Recipe

Make Your Own Tomato Ketchup Recipe

I was gifted with a wonderful cookbook by a sweet friend and was drawn to this tasty recipe on how to make your own ketchup. How liberating to whip up possibly one of your favorite condiments without the processed chemicals and nerve numbing sugar content. Great to bring along while camping or any summer picnic!

This particular recipe is from the wonderful cookbook Food in Jars (Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round) by Marisa McClellan. 

"If you are a ketchup lover, I highly recommend taking a stab at making your own. If nothing else, it will give you an appreciation for just how many tomatoes go into every puddle of ketchup you squirt on a burger or plate of french fries. It will also give you a chance to customize it to your liking so that whether you're looking to increase the heat or decrease the sweetness, you can do it with ease." - Excerpt from Food in Jars


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Makes 6 (Half-Pint/250 ML) Jars

8 pounds/3.6 kg chopped Roma or paste tomatoes
1 cup/160 g chopped yellow onion (about 1 medium onion)
1/2 cup/75 g chopped red bell pepper (about 1/2 pepper)
2 cups/480 ml cider vinegar
3/4 cup/150 g (packed) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick, crushed

Prepare a boiling water bath and 6 half-pint/250 ml jars according to the process on page 10 (see images below). Place the lids in a small saucepan, cover them with water, and simmer over very low heat.

Combine the tomatoes, onion, and red bell peppers in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to medium. Cook until vegetables are completely soft, about 30 minutes.

Position a sieve or food mill over a large bowl and press the tomato mixture through it. Discard the seeds and skins in the sieve and return the pulp to the pot.

Add the cider vinegar, brown sugar, celery seed, and cayenne pepper to the pot. Combine the cloves, mustard seed, allspice, and crushed cinnamon stick in a spice bag or tea ball, or bundle them in a piece of cheesecloth and secure tightly with kitchen twine and add to the pot. 

Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring regularly, until the mixture has reduced by half and is quite thick, about 60 to 90 minutes.

When the ketchup is finished cooking, remove the spice bundle and discard. Ladle the ketchup into prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch/12mm of headspace. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (see images below). 

Note: If your stumped about how best to crush the cinnamon stick, simple place it in a brown paper bag and fold the top several times so that it doesn't burst open. Give it several good whacks with a meat tenderizer mallet or rolling pin. It should break the cinnamon up into bits and pieces.  ENJOY!

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