Fresh tomatoes from your garden or local market can be used here, or you can reduce the time required to make ketchup (and the mess) by using canned crushed tomatoes; make sure you select cans that have just one ingredient tomatoes. This recipe requires keen attention at the stovetop while the sauce is reducing. Make a big batch of ketchup and preserve some for use throughout the year. Always use peeled tomatoes for safety when preserving, because the skins can harbor bacteria.
- Yield: 4 to 5 cups (840 t 1050 g)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 pounds (2720 g) tomatoes, peeled and seeded, or two 28-ounce (794 g) cans crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup (120 ml) apple cider vinegar (5 percent acidity)
- 3 tablespoons organic cane sugar
- 3 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and tomatoes in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and cook until all the vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables, or transfer the vegetables to a blender and puree.
- If you are using fresh tomatoes, pass the puree through a fine mesh strainer or food mill to remove any remaining seeds. Discard the seeds. (Skip this step if you are using canned tomatoes.)
- If you transferred the puree, return it to the pot.
- Add the vinegar, sugar, and spices and stir all of the ingredients together well. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 60 to 90 minutes, until the ketchup is thickened and reduced by half. Stir frequently to avoid making a mess on your stovetop. If you find small bits of vegetables that escaped the blender, fish them out and discard them.
- If you are canning, fill the jars, leaving ½ inch (13 mm) of headspace, and process them in a water bath for 15 minutes. Otherwise, let the ketchup cool, then transfer it to airtight containers; refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 6 months. Canned ketchup should be used within a year.