Ketchup is one of those magical foods that bears almost no relation to the ingredients it's made from. Go to your fridge now and eat a teaspoon of ketchup straight from the bottle. Does it taste of tomatoes? Does it taste of anything apart from sugar and vinegar? Quite.
I wanted to try making ketchup to see the transformation from a bunch of fruit into a delicious goo. The secret? The recipe is 25% sugar.
I started off with a recipe I found on the Guardian website and adapted it - mainly to reduce the insane quantities of sugar and salt! I wanted to make a regular Heinz style one, and a Bloody Mary ketchup as sold by Stokes, because everything's better with chilli in it.
Below you can see the ingredients - well, the tomatoes, everything else is underneath. After an hour and a half it's reduced down into a sweet gooey mess.
Makes about 1.25 litres
- 1.5kg tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 40g salt
- 350g sugar
- 40ml balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 6 whole cloves
Optional Blood Mary additions:
- 2 tbsp vodka
- A good glug of Worcestershire sauce
- Chilli to taste
Put all the ingredients in a pan and simmer for about an hour and a half. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn.
When it's reduced down by about half, puree it in a food processor and then sieve into a clean pan.
Adjust the thickness with water if too thick, or reduce some more if it seems too thin. Bear in mind that it's going to be a lot thicker when it's cold.
Allow to cool, bottle and serve.
"Amazing", "delicious", "oh, I thought it was shop-bought", "got a good kick", and "as good as Heinz" were some of the comments people made.
But therein lies the futility of this recipe: Heinz have perfected ketchup over the last 140 years, but they've also become deeply entrenched in your soul as the standard for ketchup. So the best I can ever hope for is "as good as Heinz". And their product is a fraction of the cost of mine.
Interesting, but I won't be doing it again.
In ten days we're leaving the UK for new adventures in Spain...Read more
Archive2016December 2016 (2)November 2016 (2)October 2016 (2)September 2016 (3)August 2016 (4)July 2016 (5)June 2016 (4)May 2016 (4)April 2016 (5)March 2016 (4)February 2016 (4)January 2016 (5)2015December 2015 (4)November 2015 (4)October 2015 (5)September 2015 (4)August 2015 (4)July 2015 (4)June 2015 (4)May 2015 (5)April 2015 (4)March 2015 (4)February 2015 (4)January 2015 (4)
What's this about?
Hi I'm Mat and I'm addicted to new hobbies. I used to think this was a bad thing but now I'm embracing it.
Writing them all up in this blog encourages me to finish projects, and helps me keep track of which ones I've tried.
A friend recently asked me to look into the I Quit Sugar phenomenon, to see if it has any health benefits...
Also in Making things...
When I told a friend I was going to make salt, her reaction was 'why bother?'...