I specifically grew lots of tomatoes this year so I could try my hand at making ketchup. I messaged my cousin, who has been canning for more years than I can remember, and she said romas were the best to use as they are meatier and have less liquid. If you look at most of the recipes on line you will see you need more regular tomatoes than romas for making ketchup.
I used the Black Plum from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. These are a great little tomato and I have already gotten over 35lbs from 9 plants. It is July in Florida and we have had a ton of rain but they are still going even though they look pitiful.
I am very pleased at how this ketchup turned out and hopefully will be making it again, even though it is a lot of work.
When my tomatoes first started coming in there were not enough for the 18lbs I needed so I had to peel, seed and freeze the first 9lbs in 3 batches. The 2nd 9lbs I was able to seed and peel at one time.
I played around with the method of peeling and seeding and here is what I came up with on my flat top stove. I placed a medium/small pan of water on to boil and then turned the heat down to 5 or medium. I placed 8-10 tomatoes in the pot of water for 6 seconds and then transferred them to a bowl of cold water. I used a sharp knife just to prick a hole in the top of the tomato and peeled the skin off. I then cut the tomato in half and scooped the seeds out. I used a medium bowl to put the skins and seeds in. I then put the clean tomatoes into a 3rd bowl. When I added additional water to the pot I turned it on high until it began to boil and then back down to medium heat again. This worked great for me.
I must add at this point that your fingers will begin to look like a prune and I would wear gloves if you have just gotten a manicure. When I do this again I will also wear some comfortable shoes or have a good mat to stand on as my back and shoulders really began hurting.
Here is the recipe I used.
You will need:
- Large stock pot
- Stick blender or food mill
- 18lbs Roma tomatoes – peeled and seeded
- 1 medium chopped onion – I used organic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced – I always use more
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup local honey
- 3 cups apple cider vinegar – See note below
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
You place the first 7 ingredients into a pot and cook until everything is soft. At this point I used my stick blender or you can put everything through a food mill. I then put this mixture into a large crock pot and added the mustard and cinnamon. There are numerous recipes that use all kinds of different spices but I kept mine to a minimum for my first try.
You need to cook this mixture for approx. 12 hours with the lid off. It will reduce almost in half. I cooked mine until I liked the consistency which was not quite in half. I kept it on low and then placed on high the last four hours. If you cook on high you need to watch carefully so that it does not burn.
I canned my ketchup in 4 oz jars as there are only 2 of us and my husband doesn’t generally us ketchup. This is also a good size to share with others to see if they like it. I was able to get 16 – 4oz jars and 2 – half pints. I processed my jars in a water bath for 15 minutes as we are at sea level.
Here is a great website that gives you a cooking time-table for different size jars and altitudes.
NOTE: I used apple cider vinegar because I try and eat non GMO. I recently found out that vinegar is made from corn and almost all corn is GMO. So unless you can find organic vinegar you will have to use apple cider vinegar to non GMO.
What spices do you add to your ketchup?