I first started to experiment with this recipe because I wanted a nice chunky texture in my ketchup, also I wanted to reduce the sugar and salt content without compromising on taste. San Marzano(a kind of plum tomato) or vine tomatoes are the best choice for this recipe. The texture can be adjusted to your own taste by extending, or reducing the cooking time. I like to store the ketchup in small jars(100-150ml), this way everyone has a "personal" jar at the dinner table and no more fighting over the ketchup bottle!!!
Step 1: Ingredients
2Kg ripe San Marzano(or vine) tomatoes
500gr apples, peeled, cored and grated
500gr onions, chopped
250gr brown sugar
340ml cider vinegar
2tsp all spice, ground
1 to 2 chilies(optional)
2tsp whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp chili flakes
Step 2: Tomatoes Preparation
Put the tomatoes in boiling water for 60 seconds, then drop them in ice cold water, this process is known as blanching and it will make peeling the tomatoes much easier.
Remove the skin, roughly chop the tomatoes, place in a bowl and stir in the salt.
Leave to rest for at least 3 hours.
Step 3: Method
Drain off the excess liquid from the tomatoes.
Put the tomatoes, spice bag and the rest of the ingredients in a large heavy-bottomed pan and bring to boil.
Simmer and stir for 1 hour until the mixture has thickened and reduced.
Remove the spice bag and leave to cool. Use an hand blender to blend the mixture to the desired consistency.
Return the sauce to the heat and bring to boil, simmering and stirring for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat once it is as thick as you like.
Using a funnel pour the ketchup into warm sterilised jars, making sure to leave 1 to 2 centimeters from the top.
Use a skewer to remove air bubbles. Clean the top of the jars properly, close with the lid. Be sure not to close the lids too tightly, or the air will not be able to escape and form the vacuum.
Use water bath method for long term storage.
Can be eaten right away, but best left to mature for 2 to 4 weeks.
Keeps for 6 months to a year. Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within 3 months.
Wash jars and lids in soapy, warm water, rinse well.
Lay a tea towel over the bottom of a pan, place the jars inside the pan with the opening up.
Cover with lukewarm water, and bring to the boil. After 10 minutes the jars are sterilised. Take them out and put in an warm oven(100℃) to dry.
WATER BATH METHOD
Put the jars back in the hot water from the sterilisation process, making sure the jars are fully covered and the water level is at least 2 to 3 centimeters above the lids. Bring to boil. The jars have to remain covered the whole time, add hot water if necessary.
After 30 minutes, remove from the heat and let the jars cool down in the water.
Once the water is cold pull out the jars by the glass.