Ketchup

Yes, Ernie. Yes, I know Ernie. Yes, I understand there are companies that have been making ketchup and putting it glass containers and placing those glass containers on supermarket shelves for over 100 years. And, yes, dear, I am well aware that there is an aisle filled with almost nothing other than ketchup at my local supermarket. But aren’t either of you even just the tiniest bit curious to experiment and learn how to do it, or what it would taste like out of your own kitchen?

Can you all hear Ernie SHRIEKING …. NO, NO, NO!

I can’t either. It helps that I stick my fingers in my ears whilst singing “la,la,la,la, I can’t hear you”

I had to do this. Just had to. Quite frankly, it has been sitting on my to-do list for quite some time.  I would look, and sigh, and turn the page. But things have been pretty quiet in my end of the world and something was needed to occupy my time to not miss people so much.

KETCHUP to the rescue!

  • 1  28-oz. can tomato puree
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 C cider vinegar
  • 1 C water
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch celery salt
  • Pinch dry mustard
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

NOTE: It’s all those spices that make the difference. It seems a little spicy as it’s bubbling away, but once it cools and sets up and then chills, it’s very mild.

Yields about 4 cups of ketchup (that’s about 3 1/2 pint jars)

Put tomato purée, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and brown sugar into a blender or food processor and pulse until just blended. Add in the vinegar and water and purée until smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan; add cayenne, celery salt, mustard, allspice, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to an hour, testing the consistency after an hour. ** 

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Store in refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 month.

** To test the consistency of  how thick the ketchup will be when it’s cold, place a small plate in the freezer for about 15 minutes. When you think the ketchup is done, put about a teaspoon of the ketchup on the cold plate. Stick the plate back in the freezer until the ketchup is cold, about 5 minutes. Then taste it, see if you’re happy with the taste and the consistency. The consistency of the ketchup on your plate will be about how thick the ketchup will be once it’s chilled.

If you like the flavor and consistency, take the pot off the heat, let chill and jar. If you want it a bit thicker, simmer for another 5-10 minutes, and do the cold plate test again.

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