• Ketchup, For The Good Times {Recipe}

    by  • September 6, 2012 • Featured, Local Food, Make it Yourself, Preserving, Recipes • 3 Comments

    homemade ketchup recipe

    Some preserves are easy, some are drastically cheaper than store-bought, and some are tastier than anything you can buy. Alas, homemade ketchup is none of these things.

    So I can’t exactly explain why I make it every year.

    I suppose I can ketchup because processing all the jars of regular sauce becomes boring. And when I’m in the midst of tomato madness, condensing a little puree with spices isn’t any extra trouble – it is, in fact, a welcome chance to do something different.

    Last year I improved my ketchup method by cooking the sauce down in a slow cooker. This prevents the bottom from scorching and makes it easy to leave the house or do other chores during the lengthy, oh so lengthy, cooking period.

    While ketchup doesn’t meet any of my traditional characteristics of a recommended preserve, HITK readers have ask for my recipe. Here it is:

    ketchup recipe in slow cooker

    Homemade Ketchup

    Makes: approximately 5 pints
    Time: 12 hours cooking, 30 minutes active

    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1 whole onion, diced
    2 quarts tomato pulp (most easily made with a food strainer and sauce maker tool, or made by stewing tomatoes and running through a manual foodmill to remove skins and seeds.)
    1 cup brown sugar or honey
    1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    sachet of whole aromatic spices (your choice of bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice berries, juniper berries, celery seeds – I use a little of each)
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon white pepper
    1/2 teaspoon lemon juice per pint

    1. Heat a medium sized pot over low heat. Add olive oil and onions. Cook until translucent, approximately 10 minutes.
    2. Add onions and remaining ingredients except for lemon juice to a slow cooker*. Turn slow cooker on high and allow to simmer for 3-4 hours.
    3. Remove spice sachet and set aside. Puree mixture with an immersion blender.
    4. Replace spice sachet and continue to cook for 3-4 hours. Taste (don’t burn your tongue!) and adjust salt, pepper, vinegar, or sugar as you see fit.
    5. Continue cooking and tasting until tomato is of ketchup consistency. This may take an additional 3-4 hours.
    6. Ladle hot ketchup into sterile jars with one half teaspoon lemon juice per pint. Wipe rims, place on two part lids, and process in a water bath for 35 minutes/pints, 40 minutes/quarts. Remove from water bath, cool, and store properly.

    *Don’t have a slow cooker? Use a medium pot on low heat, uncovered, and stir frequently to be sure the bottom does not burn.

    This post, with much respect for the A Prairie Home Companion, brought to you by the Ketchup Advisory Board.

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    I live to eat and eat to live, planning every meal to include as much local and seasonal abundance as possible. My favorite color is purple, my favorite vegetable is whatever is fresh and local, and my favorite drink is whatever you're pouring. Follow me @racheltayse


    3 Responses to Ketchup, For The Good Times {Recipe}

    1. September 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      So why haven’t I thought of using the slow cooker for making batches of BBQ sauce? What a good idea, plus it would make the house smell GREAT. Like if someone was dropping by for a showing with 5 minutes notice – not that that would ever happen 😉

      • September 9, 2012 at 8:46 am

        Slow cooker would totally work for BBQ sauce too. We did leave peach butter slow cooking for a showing but it didn’t give magic mojo to those buyers. Will try again.

    2. December 26, 2014 at 3:16 am

      Thanks for this – just ordered one myself.

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