Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homemade Honey Sweetened Ketchup

Tomatoes threaten to overtake our entire kitchen at present. 

(Same song, second verse?)

In addition to those included in our weekly CSA delivery, I'm also harvesting from our two community garden plots, and recently my friend and CSA-share-splitter Allison visited the farm to pick up our 50 lb "Salsa Time" stash.

So, what to do at 11pm on a work-night when I should be sleeping or making progress on freelance projects? Make ketchup, of course! (ha.) But seriously, it's so delicious, it's by far worth the time (and during tomato season, I can only take so much pasta sauce).

Since it's such a simple recipe (very easy to make once you've rounded up the ingredients), I quadrupled the batch. I found it easier to keep batches spread between different pots to keep the heat/surface area consistent.

Regular ol’ Tomato Ketchup (but better)
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
5 whole cloves
5 cardamom pods (crushed)
1 star anise
10 black peppercorns
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes I blanched and slipped the skins off fresh tomatoes
1 large yellow onion, quartered
2 Tablespoons neutral vegetable oil I used refined coconut oil, since I had it on hand
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar I used a combination of honey and molasses
1/2 cup champagne vinegar I used apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon hungarian paprika

1. Using a piece of cheesecloth (or an empty tea bag), tie the cinnamon, bay, cloves, cardamom, anise, and peppercorns into a bundle. Set aside. {I didn't get that fancy. I just threw the spices in and fish out the remnants at the end}

2. Pour tomatoes and their juice into a food processor or blender. Puree until totally smooth, and set aside all but 1/4 cup. To the remainder, add the onion and puree.

3. In a large dutch oven (this will splatter so use a large tall pot), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion puree and the 2 teaspoons of salt and stir well. Cook for 8-10 minutes, letting the puree reduce and lightly brown. Add the tomato, sugar and vinegar, turn heat to a low simmer, and reduce for about 15 minutes uncovered, with an occasional stir. Add the spice bundle and reduce for 10 minutes more, with an occasional stir. When it’s done reducing, it should be a little thinner than commercial ketchup. Stir in paprika, taste for seasoning and add salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed. {Don't be afraid to let it cook longer. The more liquid that boils off, the thicker the final consistency}

4. Let ketchup cool and remove the spice bundle. {Ha! See above note about fishing.} Pour into a jar and chill overnight, or at least for 6 hours.

Will store in fridge for up to 2 months.

To can: ladle into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 headspace and process in a water-bath canner for 15 minutes (more at higher elevations).

For those of you who make it in your own kitchen -- I hope you enjoy. It's a favorite staple in our house, and I'll be the first to say that it gives any high-end restaurant a run for its money...

One of my top memories last year was serving it alongside kale & egg cups when we had our good friends Alyssa and Bryan over for breakfast.

Ketchup? For breakfast? Yes. It's that good.


This recipe has been submitted at the Weekend Gourmet Blog Roundup.

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