Thursday, April 14, 2011

K Is for Canning Your Own Ketchup

Time for a recipe/how-to. Ketchup is a staple in many households and I thought it would be a good place to start providing recipes and instructions. You may need to adjust the quantities if you want to make more or less, depending on your family’s usage but here’s how I make a batch.
Ingredients and Supplies
This method uses a boiling water canner. You will also need a 4-gallon stock pot or equivalent sized kettle, 1 large stock pot, 1 medium saucepan and a large bowl. Six or seven pint jars with lids and screw caps per batch.
·         24 lbs of ripe tomatoes
·         3 cups of onions , chopped
·         3/4 tsp of ground red pepper (cayenne or other zesty red pepper)
·         3 cups of cider vinegar
·         4 tsp of whole cloves
·         3 sticks cinnamon, crushed
·         1-1/2 tsp of whole allspice
·         3 tbsp of celery seeds
·         1-1/2 cups of sugar
·         1/4 cup of salt
Start a large pot of water to boil. Prepare a large bowl or pot filled ¾ of the way with cold water and ice cubes. This will be used to blanch the tomatoes. Blanching is a method of splitting and loosening the skins through the application of first hot water then cold. Skins can be tricky to remove and I have found that to make it easier, I use a paring knife to slice a small “X” on the blossom end of the tomato. You can do this while the water is heating. Once it comes to a good boil, drop the tomatoes in for 30 to 60 seconds. Quickly (and carefully) transfer the tomatoes to ice water. The heat loosens the skins and the cold stops the heating process so the tomatoes don’t actually cook.
Once the tomatoes have cooled enough for you to handle them, simply take hold of one of the sections where you carve the “X” and start peeling away the skins. Remove the cores, quarter the tomatoes and drop them into a 4-gallon stock pot or other large kettle. Add the pepper and onions, and then bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Combine spices in a spice bag and add to vinegar in the medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil; cover and turn off heat. Let both the tomatoes and the spice mixture rest for 20 minutes. Remove the spice bag from the saucepan and add the vinegar to the tomato mixture. Boil for 30 minutes. Next pour the tomato mixture through a food mill or sieve and return it to the pot. Add the sugar and salt (adjust these for your own dietary needs) and boil gently. You should keep stirring at this point. The mixture is done when the volume is either reduced by half or when the mixture rounds p on a spoon with separating.
Fill pint jars, leaving 1/8-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes at 0-1000 foot altitudes, 20 minutes for 1001 to 6000 foot altitudes and 25 minutes over 6000 feet.
The time to complete a batch is three or more hours, depending on how long it takes to get the various pots of water to boil and how long it takes the tomato mixture to boil down.


M Pax said...

Nice. It'd be great to learn this to weed out all the sugar and salt they put in ketchup. Your jerky post was interesting, too.

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