I love home-made ketchup, and it’s even more satisfying making it from home-grown tomatoes.
In the past, I’ve made several batches with red tomatoes and a couple of batches with green ones but this is the first batch I’ve made with beautiful orange sungold tomatoes, a variety we’ve been growing for the last few years. Sungold is a cherry tomato variety and naturally super sweet, so a lot of the harvest doesn’t even make it indoors, or last long if it does. But our plants are giving us plenty this year, both those in the greenhouse and the ones outside. I was keen to see if I could preserve the vibrant colour in a ketchup to enjoy once the growing season is over.
I used my maternal grandfather’s Spicy Tomato Ketchup recipe – the same one I’ve used before. I had 940 grams of tomatoes, so I halved the recipe and made some minor adjustments to spices as well.
Spicy Sungold Tomato Ketchup
1 kg ripe sungold tomatoes
Half a small onion, diced
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Whole spices in fabric bag *
2 black cardamoms, cracked open to release flavours
Half teaspoon whole black peppers, cracked open to release flavours
Half teaspoon cumin seeds
1-2 small pieces of cinnamon or cassia bark
Half teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
1 teaspoon chilli powder (or to taste)
2 level teaspoons mustard powder
40 grams sugar (with extra available to adjust to taste)
50 ml cider vinegar (with extra available to adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
- Sterilise your jars and lids. I boil my lids in a pan on the stove for 20 minutes before laying them out to dry on a clean tea towel. I sterilise my glass jars in the oven, leaving them in until I’m ready to fill them.
- If you like, you can cut the tomatoes in half, or just slash each one, which makes it easier for them to break down more quickly, but as the sungolds are small, I put them in the pan whole and squish occasionally with a wooden spoon as they cooked.
- Place tomatoes, onion, garlic and bag of whole spices into a large pan. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to stop the tomatoes catching at the bottom before they release their own juices.
- Cook until soft.
- Allow to cool a little. Remove spice bag.
- Blend into as smooth a puree as you can.
- Press through a sieve to remove skin and seed residue.
- Place the sieved liquid into a pan with the nutmeg, chilli powder and mustard powder and bring to the boil.
- If your liquid is quite thin, boil longer to thicken. The time this takes can vary wildly. In the past it’s taken half an hour. This time, I found the liquid was reasonably thick after 5 minutes boiling.
- Add the vinegar and sugar and continue to cook until the sauce reaches ketchup consistency.
- Add salt.
- Taste and add additional vinegar or sugar, if needed.
- Remove the sterilised jars from the oven and pour the ketchup into them while both ketchup and bottles are still hot.
- Seal immediately.
- Once cooled, you can label and store in a dark cupboard.
Please note: As this recipe has only a small volume of sugar and vinegar (both of which are preserving agents), you may prefer to store the ketchup in your fridge and use within a few weeks. We have stored it in a dark cupboard, eaten it many, many months after making, and found it fine. However, we are not experts in preserving or food safety, so please do your own research and decide for yourself.
How have you been preserving your garden or allotment harvests? I’d love to hear your recipes and ideas for tomatoes, apples and potatoes in particular!