Saturday, 1 November 2008

Tomato Ketchup

Thank goodness I'm never going to grow sick of tomatoes! There's still lots left that need eating promptly. Yet another method of preservation is called for and what better than homemade ketchup.
Tomato ketchup is one of those store cupboard essentials that I can never be without. Not just reserved for the dipping of chips or dolloped next to sausages, it has other culinary uses too.
This homemade version is very different to the well-known commercial brands – it's less intensely red for a start and the flavour is, well, more sophisticated, for want of a better description.

Makes about 2 pints

3 lb ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 lb onions, roughly chopped
4 oz sugar
3 tablespoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 pint red wine vinegar

Put all the ingredients into a pan and mix well. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.

Allow the ketchup to cool slightly, then blend it to a purée in a food processor or blender. Press the purée through a sieve and return it to the rinsed-out pan.

Bring the ketchup back to boiling point, then take the pan of the heat. Transfer the ketchup to warm dry bottles and seal with airtight tops. Label and leave to cool, then store in a cool dark place. It will keep well for up to 6 months.


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