This recipe includes more spices than the original recipe, including pimenton, a smoky Spanish paprika that adds depth to the ketchup. Make sure to use a very large pot; that will help prevent splattering as the ketchup reduces.
Make Ahead: The ketchup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Servings: 2 pints
- 5 pounds plum (roma) tomatoes
- 6 whole black peppercorns
- 2 whole cloves
- 3 allspice berries
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 star anise
- 1-inch stick cinnamon
- 1 large Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 1 roasted red pepper, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1 1/4 tablespoons salt, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton), or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard, such as Colman's, or more to taste
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 6 tablespoons light brown sugar
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Use a sharp knife to score a shallow "X" at the round end of each tomato. Working in batches, place the tomatoes in the boiling water for about 2 minutes. Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer the tomatoes from the water to a colander.
Meanwhile, combine the black peppercorns, cloves, allspice berries, celery seed, bay leaves, 1/2 star anise and cinnamon stick in the center of a small piece of cheesecloth; tie with enough kitchen twine to make the bag easy to retrieve from the pot later.
When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the loosened skins. Cut off any stems if needed, then cut each tomato in half.
Drain the pot; in it, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, roasted red pepper, salt, sweet paprika, smoked Spanish paprika and powdered mustard. Add the bag of whole spices and place the pot over medium heat. Cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft. Discard the spice bag. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed, keeping in mind that the flavors will develop and intensify after the ketchup has been stored for a day or so.
Remove the center knob from the lid of a blender so that steam from the hot tomato mixture can escape. Place a dish towel over the opening.
Working in batches, puree the hot mixture until smooth, transferring the puree to a bowl as you work. Then use a spatula to push the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and back into the pot; place over medium heat.
Add the vinegar and brown sugar and cook uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very thick.
Cool completely before storing, either in canning jars or clean squeeze bottles. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Adapted from "The New Fannie Farmer Cooking-School Cook Book, Ninth Edition," by Fannie Merritt Farmer (Little, Brown and Co., 1951).
Tested by Jane Black.
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