I love ketchup. It just screams Summer to me when it’s slathered over a hot dog or hamburger fresh from the grill. With the surplus of tomatoes that I’ve had coming from my garden this year, I decided to try my hand at homemade ketchup. I already have various other tomato based sauces lingering in freezer bags and canning jars, but ketchup is something that I have never attempted before.
Historically, and surprisingly, the first ketchups were not tomato based. Tomatoes were actually considered back in the day to be poisonous since they were a member of the nightshade family. The original “ketchup” was a concoction of pickled fish and spices (called it kôe-chiap or kê-chiap) created by the Chinese. Later on, people in the United Kingdom began creating ketchup using mushrooms. Both preparations tended to create what we have only recently understood as the 5th taste, “umami” – sort of a savory, meaty taste.
Thank goodness we now use tomatoes for the majority of our ketchups. I’m not big on mushrooms.
Anyway. Most ketchup that you buy in the stores today is saturated with way too much sugar and high fructose corn syrup. So I made my homemade ketchup with neither. Instead, I used honey. Not a great heaping amount, but just enough to add a touch of sweetness while letting the tomatoes shine through. And they certainly shine through. If you are a fan of tomatoes, then you will enjoy this rich, tomatoey ketchup. Next time, I would like to add some jalapeno to it.
- 2 lb. tomatoes with the skin on (I used a mixture of red, yellow, and striped tomatoes)
- 1/2 c. of water
- 1/2 c. + 1/8 c. of honey
- 1/2 c. white distilled vinegar
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. celery seed
- 1/8 tsp. mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp, ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 dried bay leaves
Combine everything in a crockpot and cook 8-10 hours on low (I cooked it overnight). Let cool and blend in the blender until everything is combined (I probably should have removed the bay leaves at this point, but I forgot and just blended them in with everything else). It is a bit watery still at this point, so I let it sit overnight in the fridge. The next day, the mixture had separated – the top layer being thick and the bottom layer was all liquid. I ladled out the top layer into a glass pint jar that I stuck in the fridge. The rest of the mixture went into a freezer bag for use later on in stuffed peppers or a meatloaf. This should last several weeks in the fridge.