Homemade Ketchup

So far I have two versions. A cheater method using tomato paste and a longer drawn out version using a food mill. I'll probably come up with a third once I dust off my Champion juicer.

The Cheater Version
Maybe I shouldn't call it the cheater version. Maybe I should call it the quick and easy, tastes really, really good version. The drawback is that it comes from a can and we all know can liners contain BPA.

Makes about 1 cup. Haven't tried doubling or tripling it, but I imagine it would work. This ketchup isn't like the stuff that comes out of a plastic squeezy bottle. It is thick and full of tomato-y flavour. A little goes a long way.

1 156ml/5.5 fluid oz can of tomato paste
1 tbsp water
3 tbsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp honey or stevia to taste
1 1/2 tsp Celtic salt
Pinches (literally) of finely ground black pepper, cinnamon, celery salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and allspice.

Dump the tomato paste into a small bowl. Stir it a bit to smooth it out. Add the water and vinegar and stir. When smooth add the honey (if you are using stevia, wait until the end to add it) and stir until smooth. Add the salt and seasonings and mix them in. Let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours and then take it out and taste. If necessary add more seasoning, vinegar, or honey to your preference. 

I've had it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks without any fuzz growing on it. If you aren't going to use it up quickly it freezes well.

The Food Mill Version
This one is good too, although it takes considerably more time so it doesn't get made as often around here. When I say "more time" I mean you have to simmer the water out of it and that can take an hour(s). It depends on what type of tomato you started out with. I would recommend using a paste or romano tomato, they have less water, but any type will do.

This recipe is made with a food mill which means the pulp is included along with the juice. Skins and most seeds are discarded.

You can double or triple this, just mind the ratios of other ingredients. Keep in mind that the more tomatoes you process, the longer you have to simmer it.

8 medium sized tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Celtic salt
1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
pinches (literally) of cinnamon and allspice
3 tbsp honey or stevia to taste

Set a large saucepan filled 3/4 with water on the stove to boil. Set up your food mill. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Once the water is boiling, place a few whole tomatoes into it. Let them boil for about 2 minutes. When the time is up, place them into the ice bath. Put more tomatoes into the boiling water and set your timer for 2 minutes. Take the cooled ones out of the ice bath and coarsely chop them. Feed them through your food mill. Repeat this process until you've done all of your tomatoes.

I find that I can get even more juice out of the discarded skins if I put it them the mill a couple more times.

Dump the juice and pulp into a saucepan. Add the bay leaf and and vinegar and simmer over med-low heat. Stir occasionally. When it starts to thicken, add the seasonings and the honey. Keep simmering until it gets to the consistency that you associate with ketchup.

Let cool then bottle it up. Eight tomatoes makes about 1 cup of ketchup. This recipe also freezes well.

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