What? I have MORE tomatoes ripening? I've done just about everything with my garden tomatoes - even turning the green ones into Spicy Mustard Relish - so...what matches mustard? KETCHUP! I decided to search for a small batch homemade ketchup and struck upon a winner to share with you all! What's nice is that you don't have to water bath can this - you can place it right into the fridge. My family doesn't go through a lot of ketchup so, I decided to 'can' it into smaller - more 'single use' jars that we can grab when needed. Enjoy! Diane
Homemade Small Batch Ketchup
3 pounds tomatoes, about 10 medium
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
between 3/4 – 1 cup cider vinegar (depending on ripeness of tomatoes)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 clove garlic
1 Tbs Molasses *optional
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
makes about 2 cups
Wash and cut tomatoes in half, squeezing out any seeds and 'watery goo' to make the cook down more efficient. Place tomatoes into a large heavy-bottomed non-reactive pot.
Place bell pepper and onion in a food processor add process until smooth.
Add pepper/onion mix and all remaining ingredients to pot with tomatoes.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until the mixture falls apart and is very soft, about 2 hours.
Press mixture through a food mill or force through a fine sieve.
You will have a very small pile of skins and seeds that will not go through the mill/sieve; maybe a 1/2 cup.
Discard those seeds and skins and return the rest of the pulp and juice to the pot.
Bring back to a very slow simmer and cook until mixture thickens and darkens slightly. Use an immersion blender if you need to break down the sauce a bit more...cooking this down will take time. It is very important during the reduction time to stir the pot frequently to prevent the ketchup from scorching or sticking to the bottom of the pan. Test by dropping a spoon of the ketchup onto a plate. If it is not ready, liquid will seep around the edges. When it is ready, no liquid will seep from the edges. When the ketchup is finally ready, cool and refrigerate. It will last several weeks in the refrigerator or can for shelf stability.
Ketchup that is not ready has a liquid outer ring (keep cooking down)
Ketchup that is ready is thick and the liquid does not form an outer ring.
Water-bath with a 1/2" headspace and process 15 minutes. Adjust for your altitude or according to local canning regulations.
Recipe Adapted from: It's Not Easy Eating Green
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
(Heinz and Seinfeld related Images courtesy of Google Images)