Giveaways — 20 May 2013

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Tomatoes are one of the most versatile fruits. (Yes, they are technically a fruit even though the U.S. government might think otherwise.) Although I have used my Victorio Strainer many times for applesauce, I have never used it for canning a tomato based food so I wanted to start small before I delve into the spaghetti sauce or chili arena. Ketchup is the perfect choice! I can make a significant amount without making more than one batch. I like significant amounts; I’ve never been one of those people who gives jelly and jams (or ketchup) for gifts in the 4 oz jars. It’s not that I’m stingy – if you come to my house and taste what I have in a jar I’ll give it to you by the quart – it’s that if someone doesn’t like what’s in the jar they’re just gonna toss it. All my hard work and all those wholesome ingredients in the trash. What can I say? Waste just goes against who I am. Maybe I will be brave and attempt it someday! But I digress. Although you can make pretty good ketchup from food storage, you just can’t beat the taste of fresh tomato ketchup.

 Here’s how to make and can Fresh Tomato Ketchup:

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

 Wash all your tomatoes. In this batch I have 25lbs of tomatoes.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Quarter your tomatoes.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Put them in a large pot.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

I just use my water bath canning pot since it has an enamel coating. Be sure that you are using a non-reactive pot. If you don’t your ketchup might taste metallic or have an “off” taste.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Cook until tomatoes are soft. I cooked these for about 40 minutes but the time will depend on your volume of tomatoes.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Drain the liquid. Don’t throw it away! You can use the tomato juice for juicing, for Bloody Marys or for cooking.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

I put the tomatoes on cookie sheets to cool. Do not put hot food into the Victorio strainer.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Here you can see a picture of the Victorio strainer when it’s set up. Victorio has great directions about how to set up the strainer on their blog.  It’s not hard or complicated but it’s even easier when there is a video showing you how to set it up.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Here is a view from another angle. This is a totally manual system, the only power involved here is elbow grease.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Put the tomatoes in the hopper and crank the handle pushing the tomatoes down as you go.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Here you can see the tomato puree starting to come out of the strainer.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Here you can see the tomato puree in one bowl and the tomato skins and seeds in the other bowl.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

There was a bit of splatter with the tomatoes. I do not have this problem with apples. I think the difference is that the applesauce is thicker or heavier. In any case we just draped some aluminum foil over the bowl and part of the strainer. One thing I found is that the more I pushed on the tomatoes in the hopper the more “liquidy” the contents of the hopper became. I think this was part of the splashing problem as well. The problem was that the strainer needs solid parts going through it to work properly otherwise you turn and turn and nothing happens but a lot of splashing. To solve this problem we simple placed the contents of the bowl with the skins and seeds back in the hopper. In a sense we restrained the solids, but not to get more liquid out of them. Instead we needed the solids to go through the strainer to get the mushy tomato puree through. This worked very well to solve the problem!

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Since it’s only me working,  I usually don’t make a recipe and can it in the same day. If you have help in the kitchen or have a canning party you can skip this step. I placed my tomato puree in plastic bowls and placed them in the refrigerator overnight.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

To make ketchup we will require a little bit of “cal cu latating” as my husband would say. Yes, it’s a bit of math but it’s not hard. Hang with me, it’ll be worth it! From 25 lbs of tomatoes I wound up with 22 cups of tomato puree. Here are my ingredients for 22 cups.

1 and 1/3c white onion
7 T minced garlic
2c + 1T apple cider vinegar
1 and 1/4c + 2T sugar
3T + 1/4t kosher salt
5 bay leaves
3T + 1/4t coriander seed
3T + 1/4tyellow mustard seed
3T + 1/4tbrown mustard seed
3T + 1/4tblack peppercorn
1T + 1t allspice berries
4 cinamon sticks

The problem comes when you don’t have 22 cups, even if you started out with 25 lbs of tomatoes. Usually, this is not a big deal when canning jelly or jam and I just make an educated guess to add or subtract ingredients (usually sugar….what’s some sugar more or less?) but this recipe has a lot of spices. Guessing with spices can be tricky so here’s what I do. I break the recipe down to one cup. In other words here is what you need per cup.

1 T white onion
1t minced garlic
1T + 1t + 1/2 t apple cider vinegar
1T sugar
1/4t + 1/8t kosher salt
1/4 piece bay leaves
1/4 t + 1/8tcoriander seed
1/4 t + 1/8tyellow mustard seed
1/4 t + 1/8tbrown mustard seed
1/4 t + 1/8tblack peppercorn
1/8t allspice berries
1 per every 5 cups cinamon sticks

Now, simply multiply these ingredients times as many cups of puree as you wind up with. See, I told you it would be worth it – I did almost all the math for you!

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Chop the onions and mince the garlic. I used my food processor for this step.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

 

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Measure out your sugar.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Measure out the rest of the spices.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

My recipe calls for the “normal size” bay leaves that most people can find in the grocery store by a common manufacturer. I found these bigger bay leaves at an Indian grocery store so here I’m cutting them into the common size my recipe calls for.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

I had planned to place all my ingredients in cheesecloth however this cheesecloth seemed to have big holes and I was afraid I’d have to fish all my seasoning out of my ketchup before I canned it.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Luckily, I have these tea infusers. So I filled them up with the smaller spices and left the bigger spices in the cheesecloth. If you’re in the market to buy an infuser I think this one would be perfect for recipes like this.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Add the onions, garlic, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt and remaining spices to the puree. Cook over medium-heat until the mixture thickens, about an hour and half.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

In the meantime prepare your canning jars. Wash the jars.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Wash the rings.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

And was the lids.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Place your canning jars in the oven. I let them heat up to 350 degrees to sterilize them for ten minutes then turn the oven to 200 degrees to keep them warm. Place all your lids and rings in a small pot. I bring this pot to a boil briefly and then turn it to low to keep it hot. This is to loosen the seal so you will have a good seal between the lid and the jar.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Remove the cheesecloth and the spice balls from the ketchup.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Spoon ketchup into jars.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

For ketchup you need to leave 1/2 inch headspace.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Remove the air bubbles from the jars. Although it seems I can never get them all out, this handy tool helps. The other end of the air bubble remover helps measure the headspace.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Wipe off the rims of the jars so the you can get a good seal.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Remove the rings from the pot. This tool has a magnet on the end and makes it easier to grab the rings and the lids.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Place them on the jars.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Place the rings on the jars and tighten “finger tight.” Finger tight means not too tight and not too loose. Just tighten them as far as they will go without forcing them.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Place the jars in the canner. Bring the water to a boil and start the timer. Ketchup should be processed (boiled) for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. You can find adjustments for altitude here. To look up your altitude go here. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water for about 5 minutes.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Then remove the jars from the canner. The jars will be hot!

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Let your jars sit and cool for at least eight hours. Remove the rings. If the rings stay on and the lid fails (becomes unsealed) while the ring is on, the lid may reseal itself. However, bacteria has already invaded the jar and the food should not be eaten; with the ring left on there is no way you will know about the resealing. If the rings are off the lid has no pressure to reseal itself so if the lid seal fails then you’ll know and you can throw that jar out.

Fresh Tomato Ketchup~AreWeCrazyOrWhat.net

Label and put away.

Jennifer
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Jennifer

(18) Readers Comments

  1. What a well-done tutorial and wonderful recipe! Thank you so much. I will definitely be making this later this summer. :)

  2. I could sure use that Victorio Strainer this year.

  3. If the jar doesn’t seal . . don’t throw it out refrigerate and use . . don’t have to waste your hard work and hard earned money.

    • I totally agree! If the jar doesn’t seal right out of the canner don’t throw it out. Refrigerate it and use within a few weeks. However, if you find a jar that has become unsealed after say 72 hours. Usually, a jar will come unsealed months after it’s been put away. Then you must discard it! Bacteria has had a change to invade the jar and the food is dangerous to eat!

  4. Thanks for this recipe. I cant wait to make my own ketchup and stop feeding my family the chemicals at the store.

  5. Even if I don’t win the strainer, I have another great recipe. Thanks for all you hard work.

  6. I really need this strainer. i don’t have one at all and want to do some canning this year

  7. Hi Jennifer! What a great tutorial! I love step-by-steps with photos like this! I would need to made a small batch first, to see if I like the taste before I can this much. I’m sure it tastes delicious, though! Thanks for hosting the giveaway! Blessings from Bama!

  8. I am praying I get a good crop of tomatoes this year. Do you know if your recipe tastes like Heinz? That is the flavor my kids like. Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

  9. Thank you for such a great tutorial! I’ve never made ketchup, but it’s been on my list. Now that I can see exactly what I need to do, I can try it!

  10. I have been looking for a ketchup recipe. This one looks great!

  11. THIS sure would give my blender a break… no pun intended = I’ve gone through a few blenders. ..over the past 40 yrs. HERE IS HOPING TO WIN.

  12. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Hi,
    I saved the recipe and plan to use it this summer. Thank you so much! Would love to win the Victorio Strainer!

  14. I planted lots of Roma tomatoes this year and am so glad to find a recipe for Ketchup. My family loves ketchup so I hope they will love this.

  15. Would it be okay just to use ground seasonings to add directly to the ketchup and just leave it in there? I don’t have whole seeds (coriander, allspice, mustard, etc.). Thanks!

    • I have not tired it that way, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

      • I did go ahead and make it with the ground spices. I cut back on the amounts a bit and it is delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

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