Recipe from At the Farmer’s Market with Kids by Leslie Jonath, Ethel Brennan (Chronicle Books, 2012)Adults love ketchup with their burgers. Kids love burgers with their ketchup. Choose the ripest tomatoes you can find (avoiding the bruised ones) to make this yummy ketchup, which is good with much more than burgers. Experiment with colorful heirloom tomatoes, such as Green Zebra, Black Krim, or Marvel Stripe, to create colorful ketchups to offer as gifts. Don't hesitate to add more mustard or cinnamon for extra zing. This homemade ketchup has a thinner consistency than the commercial versions, but it is super flavorful.
Makes four 1/2-pint jars
Kids Can: Stem and peel the tomatoes; squeeze the seeds from the tomatoes; zest and juice the lemon; measure the ingredients; make the spice pouch; help stir the pot.
5 pounds very ripe tomatoes1. Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil. Using a paring knife, cut a 1-by-1-inch X just through the skin on the bottom of each tomato. Working in batches, slowly lower the tomatoes into the boiling water. Cook the tomatoes until the skin just begins to pull away from the X, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes from pot and put them in a colander to cool. Peel the skins from the cooled tomatoes and cut out the cores. Cut each tomato in half crosswise. Holding each tomato half cut side down over the sink, squeeze it gently to force out the seeds. If necessary, use a fingertip to coax out the seeds.
3/4 pound yellow onions
10 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup white wine vinegar
Grated zest and juice of 1/4 lemon
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick, about 1 inch long
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
In a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, the onions, the garlic, 1/2 cup of the vinegar, and the lemon zest and juice. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes and onions are soft and tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Working in batches, puree the tomato mixture in a blender or food processor. In the same saucepan, combine the tomato puree, the sugar, the salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup vinegar. Place the mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick, and ginger in the center of an 8-inch square of cheesecloth. Gather the corners together and tie securely with kitchen string to make a spice pouch. Add to the tomato mixture.
Place the pan over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Continue to simmer the tomato mixture, uncovered and stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the ketchup is nicely thickened, about 2 hours. Remove from the heat, and remove and discard the spice bag.
Meanwhile, thoroughly wash four 1/2-pint canning jars and their lids and screw bands. Put the jars, lids, and screw bands in a large pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 15 minutes to sterilize the jars, lids, and bands. Turn off the heat and leave the jars in the hot water until ready to use.
Using tongs, lift the jars, lids, and screw bands from the hot water and dry thoroughly. Ladle the ketchup into the jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe each jar rim clean with a damp towel, then top with a lid and seal tightly with a screw band. Let the jars cool overnight. Label the jars with the recipe name and date and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.