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DIY Homemade Ketchup

Kylee Newton's book "The Modern Preserver" is a step-by-step guide for both those new to preserving or those who are looking to up their flavor game. Not only does preserving reduce wasted food and better for the environment, it's also healthier. She writes, "Homemade ketchup is the best thing. Store-bought ketchup is basically sugar and salt, which explains why most children (and adults) are addicted. This recipe puts something a lot healthier on your fries: some of its sweetness comes from the apples, so it has a lower sugar content than its commercial counterpart, and its salt content is minimal as well."

Homemade Ketchup

  • Makes


    4-5 17 ounce bottles
  • Meal
  • Prep

    20 minutes
  • Cook

    260 minutes
  • Total

    280 minutes


  • 4 lbs tomatoes (preferably vine)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 lb apples
  • 1 lb onions
  • 1 cup raw granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups distilled malt vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • For the spice bag: 
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 t sp whole cloves, lightly toasted
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes


  • 1. Roughly chop the tomatoes, place in a large bowl and gently stir through the salt. 

  • 2. Leave to steep for at least 3 hours. 

  • 3. If you don’t want tomato skins in your ketchup, blanch the tomatoes to remove the skins before chopping and salting.

  • 4. Peel, core and dice the apples and peel and roughly chop the onions.

  • 5. Drain off the excess salted liquid from the tomatoes and prepare the spice bag. 

  • 6. Put the tomatoes and spice bag, along with all the other ingredients, in a large, heavy-bottomed pan and bring to boil. 

  • 7. Simmer and stir steadily for 1 hour until the mixture has thickened and reduced by around a third.

  • 8. Remove the spice bag and leave to cool then use a food processor or a food mill to blend the mixture to a smooth sauce-like consistency.

  • 9. Return the sauce to the pan and bring to boil once again, simmering and stirring for another 20 minutes, skimming off any scum on the surface as it reduces.

  • 10. Remove from the heat once it is as thick as you want it.

  • 11. Using a funnel, ladle or pour the ketchup into warm, dry sterilized bottles.

  • 12. Gently tap the bottom of the bottles on a hard surface to remove any air bubbles, then seal.

Cook's Notes: The key to this recipe is to drain off as much of the excess liquid from the tomatoes as possible. . This makes the sauce nice and thick. Eat with homemade fish and chips and burgers or anything else you like eating with ketchup. Can be eaten immediately but best left to mature for 2–4 weeks before opening. Keeps for up to 6 months to a year unopened. Once opened, refrigerate and eat within 4 months.

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Available at Amazon. Excerpted from "The Modern Preserver" by Kylee Newton (Countryman Press2016).

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