Rustic Tomato Ketchup

Ketchup, originating in China, was another word for table sauce, it could be made from many ingredients.  From China, it made it’s way to Malay where it was picked up by English explorers.  Historically, in the UK, ketchup’s primary ingredient was mushrooms rather then tomatoes and still available today, though not very common. When the settlers came to North America, they brought it with them.

The first tomato ketchup recipe created was by Sandy Addison, and was later published in the American Cookbook, the Sugar House Book. Among several changes over the years, one of the most notable was F. & J. Heinz, who did not use preservatives and still exists today.

Today’s ketchup is based on Heinz’s work, a smooth tomato table sauce. Our ketchup uses the same preserving technics as them but chunky rather then smooth, with complex flavors. Pears, nutmeg, cinnamon and sage all contribute to this beautiful creation.


18 medium (1.8kg) Tomatoes

1 large (450g) Onions

6 cloves Garlic

1 Pear

1 Tbsp (7g) Nutmeg

2 Tbsp (15.6g) Cinnamon

3 Bay Leaves

1/2 cup (125ml) Red Wine Vinegar

1/4 cup (50g) Cane Sugar

10 large leaves of Sage


Yields: 5 – 375ml Mason Jars



Quarter your tomatoes, then cut each of them in half again. For faster cooking time you can cut them even smaller.  Dice your onions fairly small, then peel your garlic cloves.  The easiest way to peel your cloves is to crush it, with the side of your knife.

Layer the tomatoes, onions and garlic, it is very important to season, that is to add salt and pepper, between every layer.  The salt helps to draw out water from the tomatoes, which will shorten your cooking time.  Cover and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours, the longer you leave it the more water you can draw out.

With a fine sieve, separate the tomatoes and tomato water, set the tomato water aside.  Fine dice the pears, then in a big pot start cooking your pears over high heat with oil, once the  pears start steaming consistently, lower the heat.  Cooking the pears until their golden brown, also known as caramelizing.

Add your tomato, onion and garlic mix, stir, Bring the heat up to medium and add the nutmeg, cinnamon, bay leaves, red wine vinegar and sugar.  Bring the mixture up to simmering temperature, simmer the mixture for an hour to an hour and a half.

In a small bowl, take a spoonful of the ketchup and refrigerate it, once it’s cool, taste.  Now is the time to make any adjustments and when your satisfied with the taste, next step will be to can it.

Bring a pot of water to boil, there needs to be enough water to cover the mason jars. Put your mason jars and lids in the boiling water and let them boil for five minutes, this will sterilize them.  Take out your jars and lids, add 2 large leaves of sage to each jar, fill your jars with the ketchup and place the lid on the jar.  Once they are all filled with the lid on, replace the jars in the boiling water, for another ten to twelve minutes. Take out your jars and place them upside down, on a cloth and leave them for 24 hours.

For futher information on canning visit our canning section

The ketchup will last 6-9 months on the shelf, once opened keep refrigerated and will last up to 3 weeks.

Check out the Tomato Water and Dijon Vinaigrette, for an idea of what to do with that delicious tomato water.

Bonne Appetit!

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