Makes 3 quarts
4 quarts peeled fresh tomatoes or 5 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes (see note)
3 red peppers, seeded and chopped
2 medium onions, chopped fine
2 tablespoons salt
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons celery salt
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
2 cups white vinegar
Note: The better the tomatoes, the better the ketchup will be. Use fresh tomatoes when they are at their peak, or high-quality canned tomatoes.
In a stockpot or large Dutch oven, cook tomatoes, peppers and onions together over medium-high heat until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes, without adding water. Mash with a potato masher (this will help the tomatoes break down later). Add salt, sugar, celery salt, mustard and paprika. Tie allspice, cloves and cinnamon stick in cheesecloth or place in a spice infuser or simply place them in a sieve that dips into the liquid, and add to pot.
Cook at a medium to rapid simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Long, slow cooking gives an undesirable dark color. Add vinegar and continue simmering and stirring until thick, about 1 hour longer. Purée in a blender for a smooth, finished ketchup; otherwise leave slightly chunky for a rustic style.
Store in clean, sterilized jars with airtight lids (canning jars, properly sealed, work best) in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 months.
Nutrients per 1-tablespoon serving: 8 calories, no fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol, no protein, 2 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram sugar, no fiber, 114 milligrams sodium, 4 milligrams calcium.