As the beginning of Meet Me In St. Louis (one of my roommate Kelsey's favorite movie) opens, we see the Smith family coming together in the kitchen, preparing homemade ketchup. Each family member has their different opinion of how the ketchup should taste. It was either too sweet, too salty, too bland or too thick.
That is a wonderful thing about making your own ketchup, you can really make it taste any way that you want! Mine is a bit sweeter, but you could easily make it spicy or tangy or what ever your heart desires. Here is the recipe that I concocted:
7-8 medium-large tomatoes (homegrown are even tastier!)
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seed, ground
1. You need to remove the peels of the tomatoes. An easy way to do this is to place the tomatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Then, bring this water to a boil. After the water has been boiling for about 1 minute, remove the pot from heat and strain the water off the tomatoes. Then, submerge the tomatoes in icy water. After being submerged in the cold water, the peels will be very easy to remove. After removing the peels, set aside the tomatoes.
2. In the same, now-empty pot, melt the butter and saute the onions until they begin to turn a golden brown. Then add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat for 1 hour, uncovered (I know this takes a while to cook, but it is important to cook off much of the liquid and allow the flavors to develop. During this time, we watched Meet Me In St. Louis!). Stir about every 15 minutes.
3. After about 1 hour of cooking, remove from heat and using an immersion blender (or a regular blender) puree the vegetables to a smooth liquid. Then, return to the stove and cook for another 1 hour over very low heat, stirring every 10 minutes. This period of cooking time should also be uncovered. However, when it starts to splatter (which it probably will...), I used a colander over the pot, so the steam could still escape, but my kitchen would remain semi-clean.
4. After you have cooked the ketchup to the consistency that you like best, you can remove it from the heat and bottle it! We reused a ketchup bottle that once held store-bought ketchup. If you don't have this, you can easily place it in a jar or any other container!
So simple and so delicious. Let us know if you have any recipe variations that you try.