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Homemade Tomato Ketchup

If you are looking for a recipe that tastes like the kind of stuff you get in a squeeze bottle, then this is not the one for you. As with all recipes for canning and preserving, you should be careful about changing the ingredients or proportions very much, lest you wind up with a product that is unsafe to eat. This recipe uses white granulated sugar for sweetening, which was the preferred sweetener in a 2011 Cook’s Illustrated taste testing [1] of store brands. My version uses apple cider vinegar, less salt and spices, and omits the paprika called for by the original recipe. And I also leave the spices in for a shorter period of time.


Homemade Tomato Ketchup
adapted from a Ball Blue Book recipe

4 quarts red-ripe tomatoes, peeled, cored, and chopped, with most of seeds removed (about 8-10 pounds)
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp mustard seed
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar (with 5% acidity)

1. Cook tomatoes, onions, and peppers in a non-reactive pan until soft (about 10 minutes). Press through a food mill or sieve. If you don’t mind a few more seeds, you can process in a blender instead.
2. Cook rapidly until volume is reduced by half, about 1 hour.
3. Tie whole spices in a cheesecloth bag; add with sugar and salt to tomato mixture. Cook gently about 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove spice bag.
4. Add vinegar, cook until very thick. As mixture thickens, lower heat and stir frequently to prevent sticking. This will take an additional 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
5. Pour hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust caps. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.
6. Store sealed jars in a cool dry place, where they should keep for up to a year. Store opened jars in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Servings: 48
Yield: About 3 pints.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 29 calories, 1 calories from fat, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 99.8mg sodium, 134.9mg potassium, 7.3g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 5.7g sugar, <1g protein, 11.2mg calcium, <1g saturated fat.