I admit it, I’m weird. I like tomatoes on my burgers and I dip my fries into anything but ketchup normally(mustard, tarter sauce, etc). There is several reasons for this; the first being that I hate being reliant upon high fructose corn syrup. I don’t think it is inherently evil but I do believe that like a great many number of things in our society, it has been subjugated for evil purposes. The other reason is just that I like playing with flavors and ketchup rarely has any flavor other than bland tomato taste. They don’t taste like a hearty beef tomato or a delicate heirloom and with good reason, the flavor of an heirloom wouldn’t stand up to the vinegar flavor.
However, A likes ketchup, quite a bit in fact. So when I saw a balsamic vinegar ketchup from Heinz, I considered the possibilities. I like making my own mayo and other condiments; ask me sometime about my line of ‘awesome sauces’, but I’d never really thought about just doing it on my own.
Actually, that’s a bit of a fib, I considered it once upon a fancy ages ago when I received a book of ‘Homemade Best Made’ as a gift. I have long since lost that book before ever getting to delve its depths but once I decided I wanted to give ketchup another try, I realized I was just going to have to buckle down and make it myself. I looked over several recipes and realized I was not going to have the chance or budget or timeline to make several pounds of tomatoes into paste and then into ketchup, so those recipes got passed over. Then I stumbled upon a recipe from Instructables about making ketchup and my first batch was okay. But then I started making changes. Ketchup is kinda high on the glycemic index and while I’m okay with that now, I have several friends who would not be.
This is my recipe that I’m quite happy to share with you this Monday as I get started on my next endeavor: Mustard.Difficulty: Pot of water easy Time: About an hour, mostly passive cooking time
- 4 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste (make sure there are no additives or the like, if you please)
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tsps agave or other liquid sweetener of choice (although I recommend the more natural ones)
- 2 1/2 cups water
Set everything in a pot and let simmer for quite a while. About an hour or so. I like the stronger tomato flavor from 4 cans versus 2 since it holds up against the strong flavor of the balsamic better in my opinion. Towards the end, I actually add about 1/2 tsp of guar gum and whisk it together to help keep the ketchup from separating out like it seems to want to do.
Result: 2 pints of ketchup.
I then hot water can them, which actually increases the flavor a bit, for about ten minutes but I am far from an expert on all that, so that’s up to you. Once I find my camera, I’ll upload the pics from it all.
A’s verdict: Very important to let the ketchup sit first. It wasn’t the greatest (but still not bad) at first, but after it sat overnight, it was very good. I liked it quite a bit but it was different enough from store bought but wasn’t so heavily sweet and had a much deeper flavor. You could make a whole bunch of types of ketchup and I approve of this idea. I think if you did it as a plain ketchup, it’s not as sweet and would taste like a weaker ketchup if you’re too used to the HFCS.