We’ve make our own mustard, relish and pickles, but I’ve never tried making ketchup. Our bumper tomato crop this year made me decide to try canning ketchup for the first time. Most ketchup brands at the grocery store have high fructose corn syrup, which we try to avoid. I figured why not try to make my own and see if I can get away from the commercial varieties for good. As it turns out, making ketchup is pretty easy and I was blown away by how much I love the taste! It came out so well I wanted to just eat it right out of the pot. Here’s a simple recipe I modified from my Ball Canning Book. Let me know if you give it a try.
Home Canned Ketchup12 pounds cored, peeled, pureed paste tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 hot pepper (optional)
2 medium sized yellow onions
1 1/2 tablespoons celery seeds
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 broken cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons canning salt
Heat tomatoes, vinegar and sugar in a large stainless steel pot. While tomatoes are warming up, puree pepper and onions together in the food processor. Use some of the liquid from the tomatoes to make sure you get it really smooth. Add to tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
Tie up a piece of cheesecloth with the celery seeds, cloves, allspice and cinnamon stick inside. Hang off edge of pot with your tomatoes. Add salt.
Simmer until thickened. You want it as close to the consistency of commercial ketchup as possible. This can take as long as 4 to 5 hours. You will have to stir fairly frequently. Remove cheesecloth and spices and scrape it as clean as you can.
Prepare your water bath canner. Make sure your jars (half pint) and lids are clean and put your lids in a small bowl of warm (not boiling) water. Your jars should be in simmering water to keep them hot.
Ladle hot ketchup into jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Carefully wipe your jar rims clean. If your rims aren’t clean your jars will not seal, I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. I keep a roll of paper towels handy and first wipe each rim with a wet paper towel and then with a dry one.
Place lids and rings on jars and place jars in your boiling water bath. Boil in the canner for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, remove cover and let canner sit for 5 minutes.
Remove jars and place on a towel. Let sit for about 24 hours. Check to make sure your jars sealed by feeling and looking at the lid, there should be no flex to the top. You can store these in a dark place for one year. Recipe makes about 6 half pints.