Tomato

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.

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— Adapted from “America’s Cook Book,” by the New York Herald Tribune Home Institute

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