Summer Dry Farmed Tomato Ketchup

Summer is quickly coming to an end but in Santa Cruz it’s the time of year when the dry farmed tomatoes are at their best.  It was this time last year that I my good friend shared a recipe for Pasta Pomodoro with dry farmed tomatoes.  This year we’re going back to canning, and canning a pantry staple… Ketchup.

I didn’t even know that I liked ketchup until a week ago when I had the privilege of judging the condiments competition for the Eat Real Festival in Oakland*.  I tasted the most amazing ketchup and decided that I needed to give this condiment a try.  I’m so glad I did!  You’ll want to make enough of this to last you for the year because you won’t be able to go back to store bought ketchup after you make your own.

*The Eat Real Festival is coming up on September 21st-23rd at Jack London Square in Oakland.  It’s a weekend of great food and fun!

This recipe yields 3 half pints plus a little extra for the fridge.

6 lb dry farmed Early Girl tomatoes
5 jalapeños (optional)
⅓ cup brown sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon celery seeds
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons mulling spices
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

Place clean jars on a cookie sheet and set oven to  225°.

Core and cut tomatoes and jalapeños in halves or quarters and place into a medium non-reactive stock pot.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the vinegar,  garlic, ¼ cup brown sugar, and spices into a small non-reactive sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, cover, and then remove from heat and set aside.

Pass the tomatoes and peppers through a food mill with a fine disk into a small nonreactive stock pot or large sauce pan.  Discard the seeds and skins.  Strain the infused vinegar mixture into the tomatoes and then discard the garlic and spices.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer stirring often, about an 1 to 1½ hours, or until ketchup thickens and the volume has reduced by more than half.

While the ketchup is reducing, prepare a water bath canner for processing.  For detailed instructions on water bathing, cooling, and testing seals please visit (

When the tomato mixture is the correct consistency for ketchup, taste and adjust the flavor by adding more sugar and/or salt.

Remove jars from oven.  Carefully ladle ketchup in to jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace, remove any air bubbles using a sterilized knife, wipe rims clean, and affix lids.  Process the jars in the water bath canner for 15 minutes.  When jars have finished remove from the canner, set out on counter, and let cool completely.  Store sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.  Refrigerate any jars that do not seal for up to one month.


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