Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Julie's Spicy Blender Ketchup

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I grew up in a Midwestern home with parents who went through the Great Depression. As a result of that, they were thankful for, and took good care of, what they did have! We lived by the core value of: "Waste Not, Want Not".

So, today I found myself with 10 lbs./4.5 kg. of our garden fresh, organic, tomatoes . . . The problem was, they were way too small to core and peel! It would have taken me hours! What to do? What to do?

I decided to throw them in the blender and whip up some Spicy Blender Ketchup! I love the smell of homemade ketchup simmering away on my stove! The house is filled with the spicy, robust, richness of fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, vinegar, and a fragrant blend of herbs and spices!

Homemade ketchup takes time to thicken so, I break the job in half, and run my ketchup through the food mill and do the actual canning the following morning. This year we have set up a 2-burner propane campstove on the back porch. I'll be doing the actual hot water bath canning on the back porch!

My daughter, Annie says many Indian families do much of their cooking outside to keep their homes cooler. My Gram always did her canning down in the cooler basement, where my Grampa had build a "canning kitchen" complete with a sink, cupboards, a linoleum lined countertop and their old stove.

Julie's Tip: For optimum flavor, use fresh herbs and spices! Ketchup can be made more quickly, on higher heat, if you keep a watchful eye on your ketchup. I prefer to cook mine on a very slow simmer, between low and 2, so I don't have to constantly be stirring it. Scorched ketchup tastes aweful! Keep that in mind, whichever method you choose to use to thicken your ketchup.

JULIE'S SPICY BLENDER KETCHUP ~ makes 10 half-pints or 5-pints + a 1/2 cup sampler for the fridge.

10 lbs. tomatoes

2 cups onions

3 cloves of garlic


1 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed

1 teaspoon whole cloves

3 bay leaves

3-inches of cinnamon stick, broken in pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds

Scant 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice


*The ingredients below need to be divided between your 2 Dutch ovens/cooking pots

1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar, packed (*1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons per pot)

1 teaspoon Tabasco brand pepper sauce (*1/2 teaspoon per pot)

1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco brand chipotle pepper sauce (*1 1/4 teaspoons per pot)

Scant 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (*scant 1/4 teaspoon per pot)

4 1/2 teaspoons Kosher or pickling salt (*2 1/4 teaspoons per pot)

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (40 grinds) or (my personal favorite ~ a melange of peppercorns ground), (*20 grinds per pot)

  • Wash tomatoes; Process tomatoes, onion and garlic in blender on grind; working in manageable batches.
  • Pour blended veggies, equally into 2 Dutch ovens/large pots; simmer both pots on low/medium for 25-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile: In a small saucepan add your apple cider vinegar; measure out your spices and tie in a square of 2-ply cheesecloth (I use a premade cheesecloth bag with a drawstring).
  • Bring vinegar and spice bundle to a boil; remove from heat; cover and steep for 25 minutes.
  • Pour half the steeped vinegar (discard spices), brown sugar, Tabasco sauces, cayenne, salt and pepper into each the large cooking pots.
  • Simmer on low heat for 2 more hours, or until ketchup has reduced by half.
  • Pour ketchup into 1 pot; cool, or refrigerate overnight (if planning on canning the following day).
Julie's Tip: My days are full, so at this point I allowed my pot to cool; refrigerated it over night and in the morning I put my tomato mixture through a food mill, blender and then can.

  • Put cooled tomato mixture through a sieve or food mill.
  • The pulp that remains in the food mill will equal about 4 cups of tomato pulp and 1/2 cup of seeds; scoop the pulp back into your blender; ( I did it in 2 batches, adding 1 cup of the ketchup to the thick pulp and blended until smooth).
  • Run the pulp back through your food mill (you will end up with 4 extra cups of ketchup by adding this extra step!
  • Return ketchup to low heat and simmer for 10 minutes, to heat through thoroughly.

  • Fill hot water canner with water; add your canning jars, lids and bands to sterilize.
  • Remove from pot, one at a time. After you fill a jar, return it to the hot water bath.
  • Fill jars with hot ketchup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims with a damp cloth.
  • Adjust lids and screw on bands.
  • Process in a hot water bath: for 1/2-pint jars ~ process 10 minutes; add an additional 5 minutes for over 1000 feet above sea level. Pint jars ~ process 15 minutes; adding an additional 5 minutes for over 1000 feet above sea level.
Begin with washed tomatoes . . . Blend on GRIND in manageable batches.

When ketchup has thickened; cool; or refrigerate overnight and finish in the morning.

Place food mill over a Dutch oven; pour cooled ketchup into your food mill and crank until all liquids run through the bottom into your pot.
Process solids with a culeft in your food mill through your blender (you should have about 4 cups of pulp)

This collage shows the pulp after it has gone through the blender; the seeds left in the bottom of the food mill, and the ketchup that is ready to can!

While I was waiting for my for my Spicy Ketchup to can, I snapped some photos in the backyard.
I'll share them with you tomorrow!

Outdoor canner bubbling away!

I am so excited about this ketchup! I think you will find the taste is superior to any recipe you will find out there in blog-land!

The extra step of running the solids, minus the thick seed-layer found in the bottom of the food mill, back through the blender with a bit of the thinner ketchup, gave us an extra 4 cups of ketchup (that's an extra quart or almost double)! This incredible Spicy Blender Ketchup is so worth all the fuss . . . Over at Julie's!!!

Bowling anyone . . . . ?


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