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    Tangy Homemade Tomato Ketchup

         If you've never made ketchup at home, you're in for a treat. Spending the time to create "America's most popular condiment" from scratch is well worth the time & effort. Start with the tastiest tomatoes you can find because their flavor will come shining through in the ketchup, even though the recipe includes a variety of other ingredients. Don't just use this on fries either; try using it as a base for cocktail sauce and BBQ sauce too. 

    Makes approximately 6 half-pint (8 oz) jars, though I prefer to package condiments in 4 oz. jars. 

    • 8 pounds tomatoes, washed (about 12 cups peeled/seeded/chopped tomatoes)
    • 1 TBS ginger, peeled & chopped
    • 1 TBS olive oil 
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
    • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup orange juice 
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 TBS sea salt, plus extra if desired.

    Note: If planning to process in a Boiling Water Bath, prepare canning jars and keep hot until ready to use; prepare lids according to the manufacturer's instructions. 

    1.) Blanch tomatoes long enough for skins to crack, about 30-60 seconds. (It sometimes helps to make a small X on the bottom of each tomato with the tip of a paring knife, but it isn't necessary.) Plunge tomatoes into a bowl of cold water, then peel, seed and chop them.

    2.) Heat olive oil in large heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, and cook chopped ginger for 1 minute. Add chopped tomatoes and remaining ingredients, and bring mixture to a boil, stirring to make sure the sugars have dissolved and aren't sticking to the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to a strong simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for approximately one hour or until mixture begins to thicken. 

    3.) When most of the liquid has cooked out of the tomatoes, remove from heat and let cool slightly, then process using a food mill. Transfer puree back into the pan over low heat and stir. Taste the ketchup, adding more salt if desired. At this point you can either:

    a.) Let the ketchup cool, then ladle into bottles with tight-fitting lids and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.


    b.) Keep the ketchup warm if you want to process the jars (to be able to store the ketchup at room temperature.) Start by ladling ketchup into half-pint - or smaller - jars. Release any trapped air bubbles by carefully running a chopstick or other non-metallic utensil around the edges. Wipe rims clean. Place lids and bands atop jars, and seal by processing in a Boiling Water Bath for 25 minutes. (You will need to make adjustments to processing times at higher altitudes.)

    After removing from boiling water bath, set aside in a draft-free place for 24 hours. Will keep on the shelf in a cool dark place for up to one year.

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