I don’t know about you, but I keep finding really cheap tomatoes in the reduced aisle like fresh vegetables isn’t a priority on people’s shopping list now it’s turned Autumn. And at 25p a pack of cherry tomatoes, I cleared the shelf with a plan to turn it in to yet another chutney, soup, a quick snack or what resulted in homemade tomato ketchup, requested by my fiance.
I’ve gone through a few ketchup phases in my life and one that stands out was during my time at uni. It would always be first choice of burger sauce but at present I can’t stand the stuff; it’s too tart and sour, making my face scrunch up. BBQ instead, please! I’ve made syn free stuff in small portions and generally think life’s too short for sauce making, but as this was my first attempt and my own adapted recipe, I was over the moon with the results. My new homemade stuff is way better in my opinion and does not claim to be an identical match to Heinz itself; take that how you will but my fiance was also impressed and he loves ketchup. He said it was just the right amount of sugar and vinegar to which I totally agree. It’s completely natural and also falls in to the Vegan and Vegetarian category (providing you opt for vegan friendly sugar that’s not processed using bone char) and that’s speaking from a former vegan here.
My recipe fills just over 3 typical salad dressing bottles which is exactly what I recycled and sterilized (method here) so it prevents any spoiling and a few months. Once I made them, I was going to give them away as gifts as part of Christmas hampers, but they’re so nice, we’ve decided to keep them all to go with chips etc.
It’s a posh enough sauce to warrant a place in a hamper, but of course, a bottle of Heinz wouldn’t and certainly isn’t as cheap, but idea if you’re like me, you also have tomatoes growing in the garden which i slipped some in or you are lucky enough with an allotment full. If you’re tomatoes haven’t turned red, I’ve also seen plenty of ketchup made with green tomatoes but I am too chicken to try in case it’s inedible.
1.7kg ripe cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 bunches of spring onions, finely chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
2 tsp ground ginger
3 fat cloves of garlic, minced
1 small green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
Generous sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp fine sea salt
200ml red wine vinegar
150g granulated sugar
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- Place all the ingredients except the sugar and vinegar in a jam pan (I use this) or large pan and bring to the boil, then cover with a lid (I use one like this) and gently simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until all the vegetables have softened.
- Now whiz in a blender until smooth, then sieve over a jug, pressing down until all the juices have passed through and discard the seed pulp you are left with.
- Then clean your pan and pour in your tomato juice, vinegar and sugar, and gently heat until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Once you have no sugar grit at the bottom of your pan, start boiling your sauce and constantly stir until you have your desired consistency that resembles ketchup (it should reduce a bit). Mine took about 20 minutes, bearing in mind it should thicken more when it turns cold.
- Then, using a funnel, pour in to your sterilized hot jars (while the sauce is hot too) and screw your lid on nice and tight.
- Once cooled, store in a cool dark place and refrigerate once opened. It should last up to 6 months according to other ketchup recipes with similar sugar and vinegar content, but will I keep you posted once I know for sure.
If you are giving them as a gift, then it would be a great idea to cover the lids with pretty fabric or use a Tala labelling set because it will look less sexy with its original brand being visible, like an old Pizza Express sauce bottle in our case. I also found some elegant yet rustic East of India luggage labels from John Lewis which are similar to these. They’re not cheap and I’m sure if you like crafts, you could make something similar with some card and string. Christmas edition food magazines are also great for seasonal freebie labels, so keep your eyes peeled! I do think, however, printed labels have less charm, so you’re better with a posh tag and your neatest handwriting at the ready.
Did you end up making my recipe? If so, let me know what you thought below!
However, one thing’s for sure is that chips will definitely be on the menu tonight and cannot wait to do some serious dunking!
Tastefully Vikkie x