I decided to make ketchup this year with my leftover tomatoes. I had canned about 50 quarts each of juice and diced tomatoes. I also did 42 quarts of salsa. I still had tomatoes, so I thought I would try it. I found a recipe that I thought I would use. I followed the recipe for the ingredients, but I started the process different as I had a steamer/juicer to use.
I started out with about 20 – 22 pounds of tomatoes. I washed them good and then came the fun part. For making ketchup, you don’t want all the water in the tomatoes. I squeezed that water out and threw the tomatoes into the basket of my steamer/juicer. I cooked the tomatoes until they were soft enough to run through my strainer. The juice/water that did come out of the juicer got thrown away as it wasn’t good for anything.
We ran the cooked tomatoes through the strainer and ended up with the pulp from the tomatoes. The skins came out the other side and were discarded as well. While the tomatoes were cooking I started heating up the vinegar. Into the vinegar I put a cheesecloth ball full of celery seed. That simmered for 30 minutes or so. I did start out with more vinegar than the recipe called for as it does evaporate. You want to add 3 cups of vinegar into the ketchup.
Once the tomatoes were run through the strainer, I put them in my crock pot. I added the sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, and just a dash of black pepper. Next I added the vinegar and then that cooked on high for about 12 hours or so. I did take the lid off and I put my grease splatter over the crock pot while it cooked. This way the water could evaporate, yet not splatter everywhere.
Cook it until you think that it is the right consistency. I probably have it a little bit runnier than store bought ketchup. We think the flavor is pretty good. This does need to be water bathed for 35 minutes for pints.