Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Ketchup In The Kitchen
SO, I tried my hand at making ketchup last night! First I will tell you that it tastes great and my kids like it! They had it on their scrambled eggs this morning. I have yet to be able to find an affordable brand of store-bought ketchup without high fructose corn syrup in it, so I planted 30 tomato plants in the spring with the goal in mind of making a years supply of ketchup myself.
Here's what I used:
A lot of tomatoes! Probably 20 pounds. Next time I make it I will measure!
2 large organic onions
5 cloves of garlic
1 cup real apple cider vinegar
2 cups sucanat (sweetener)
2-3 tbls salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Here's what we did:
I filled a large pot half way full of hot water and brought it to a boil. Dillon put about 10 tomatoes at a time in the water and scalded them for 30 seconds. He took them out with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl. He filled the bowl with cold water and let them sit for a minute. While he kept scalding the tomatoes I took the cooled ones and cut the core out of the top and sliced each tomato in half. Then I used my thumbs to press out the seeds and mushy stuff in the middle. I gave the tomato a squeeze to get any extra fluid out and then plopped it in my big stainless-steel pot. We worked like that until the pot was about 3/4ths full. I then chopped up the onions and pressed the garlic and put that in the pan. I stirred in the vinegar, sucanat, salt and pepper. I turned the heat under the pot to medium and crossed my fingers. After several hours of simmering I turned off the heat. I then got out the blender and blended about three cups of the soupy stuff at a time. (It's hot! Put a towel over the top in case any bubbles out.) After each batch of it was blended I poured it into a smaller stock pot I have. Once it was all blended and in the other pot I put the pot on a burner at about medium heat. This blended mixture simmered for another hour or so. You want to cook the tomatoes down until you get the consistency of ketchup. While it simmered I got 6 quart jars and lids ready. I took the pot off the heat and used a funnel to fill each jar. I put lids and rings on each one and then used my steamer to process 5 of them for 30 minutes. (You can use a water-bath to process them if that's what you have.) I stuck the other jar in the fridge to use right away.
The most important things I learned from this endeavor are:
1. Use Roma tomatoes if you can. They have less seeds.
2. Wear rubber gloves. Tomatoes are hard on your skin.
3. Start the whole process in the morning. I started at 4 in the afternoon and it took a long time!
4. You don't have to follow my recipe. Put what sounds good in it to you!
The final word on making ketchup it that it takes a long time, but is worth the effort! I am excited to make another batch soon!