Sunday, October 23, 2011

Homemade Ketchup

Got my ketchup done for the year.

First, lets get past this question: Why would you want to go through all this time and effort to make ketchup when you can just pick some up for a buck at the store?

I make ketchup because tomato plants produce sooooo much, I have the extra. So yea, its a days work to make a years worth of ketchup, but I have the tomatoes, and I like my ketchup better. And its one less thing I have to buy or even think about buying.

Now that we have that cleared up....

To make homemade ketchup, you need this stuff:

For one batch(2 pints)

8lbs tomatoes
1 medum onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 1/2 inches stick cinnamon, broken
1 teaspoon celery seed
3 1/2 teaspoons salt

You can do as many batches that you have room in your pot(s) for. I did 3 batches. This will be enough for us for the year cuz we don't eat that much. If you eat a lot of ketchup, you should make more. You have the stuff out anyway, might as well.

1 5gal bucket will be approximately 24lbs of tomatoes. I had to go and get 4 or 5 more after what was in this bucket was weighed to get 3 batches worth.

Let me stress that you really should weight your tomatoes at this stage to make sure you have the suggested weight of tomatoes so that the ingredients will work out right or you will have too much or not enough ingredients for the amount of tomatoes. And then it wont taste too good. 

You should take a nap or something at this point because your in for the long haul preparing these tomatoes for the next step. 

You have to wash them, and then cut them in half and core them and peel them. 
Tomato cores arent like apple cores where they go all the way thro the apple. You just take a wedge out of the top like this. 

The one on the right has been cored and the one on the left hasn't been. You see the white bit on the one on the left? That's the core. Just cut a wedge around it and get it out of there. 

Then you have to peel them. ugg....PITA!! THEN they are ready for the next step. 

Unless you have one of these bad boys....

This is the Roma Food Strainer/Sauce Maker. You can get this on Amazon for $46.90+shipping. Ive had mine for several years and dont remember what I paid for it. But that price is well worth it! Mine came with extra graters so I can make different stuff. I make my grape jelly with this thing and all things tomato with this thing. Truly a great investment if you plan on doing a bunch of tomato stuff long term. See that black layer of stuff that this thing is standing on? Thats a suction, it works well, but sometimes it lets go and I say a few colorful words, and release it and put it back. If it gets too bad, I use the clamp there, but most of the time, its not needed. So yea, that could be better, but thats the only thing bad I can say about it. 

So because I have one of these, I just washed, cut the tomato in half, and threw it in the bowl at the top there. You dont need to core it or peel it. Just cut it up, throw it in and start turning the handle, the seeds and cores and skins come out the side, and the meat and juices come out the front. MUCH easier. 
When Im done, I usually run the "trash" thro again just to make sure I got all the meat out, but thats just me being anal.  

Then you throw all your tomatoes/or juice in a big pot.

Put your onion and cayenne in, and let it boil for about 15-20 mins. This will get everything nice and soft and then you take it out and run it thro a food mill(or the Roma again). You just want the juice this time. 

Put it back in the pot, and add your sugar. Grab you something to measure the depth with, and write that down somewhere. Bring the mixture back to a boil and let it boil for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. 
Measure it occasionally to see if it has been reduced by half. 

When its close to being reduced by half. Grab you another pot and put your vinegar, whole cloves, stick cinnamon, and celery seed in it. Bring it to a boil and take it off and let it sit until your tomato juice is reduced. 
Strain your vinegar mixture into the tomato sauce and throw the spices away. Add the salt, and keep boiling and stirring until its the thickness that you want. You want to make sure your stirring often, at this thickness, things can get ugly towards the bottom of the pan if you don't.

You should have your pint jars, lids and rings ready and when the ketchup is at the thickness you want, turn off the heat and put the ketchup in your jars, adjust rings and put them in a water bath for 5 mins.(pints)

Take them out and you have homemade ketchup!!! YAY!! 

Let me know if you try this recipe and if you have some variations of a ketchup recipe!! I love to hear new ways of doing stuff!!!

Now wheres my fry cutter..........


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