Serves: Makes 1½ pints
- 5 pounds ripe red tomatoes, coarsely chopped (no need to peel)
- 2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
- 2 cups finely chopped red bell pepper
- ¼ cup minced fresh Italian parsley
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons kosher or sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 whole clove
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Procedures:When Robin Raudabaugh makes this richly spiced tomato ketchup, only the seasonings and the vinegar are store-bought. All the vegetables and herbs come from her Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm; even the honey is harvested from farm hives.
Put the vegetables, parsley, garlic, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Adjust the heat to maintain a brisk simmer and cook until the tomatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Pass the mixture through a food mill fitted with the fine disk and return the puree to the pot.
Put the bay leaves, clove, mustard seed, allspice, coriander seed, peppercorns, and cinnamon stick on a square of cheesecloth, then tie with kitchen twine to make a spice bag. Add to the pot with the honey. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced by half, about 1 hour. Remove the spice bag and add the vinegar. Continue to simmer, stirring as needed to prevent sticking, until the mixture reaches the desired thickness, or about 3 cups.
Fill a canning kettle with enough water to cover 3 half-pint canning jars (or 1 pint jar and 1 half-pint jar) resting on the preserving rack. Bring to a boil. Wash the jars with hot, soapy water; rinse well, and keep upside down on a clean dish towel until you are ready to fill them. Put 3 new lids (never reuse lids) in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water.
Using a ladle and a funnel, transfer the ketchup to the jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean with a damp paper towel. Top with lids and then a screw band. Close tightly.
Place the jars on the preserving rack and lower it into the canning kettle. If the water doesn't cover the jars, add boiling water from a tea kettle. Cover the canning kettle. After the water returns to a boil, boil for 15 minutes. With a jar lifter, transfer the jars to a rack to cool completely. Do not touch the jars again until you hear the pops that indicate that the lids have sealed. You can confirm that a lid has sealed by pressing the center with your finger. If it gives, it has not sealed and the contents should be refrigerated and used within a week. Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks before using. They will keep for up to 1 year before opening. Refrigerate after opening.