As I mentioned in my last post, fall is a stressful time for me. Besides starting school off on the right foot, I am trying to preserve as many fall fruits and vegetables for winter as possible. Being crazy, I bought 10(!) boxes of tomatoes last weekend. They were turned into 48 wonderful quart bottles of whole canned tomatoes, 7 quarts of beautiful spaghetti sauce, 10 quarts of amazing creamy tomato soup and 8 pints of homemade tomato ketchup. I have to share this recipe with you, and then I have to find more tomatoes to make more ketchup — this is the kind of ketchup you eat with a spoon, no french fries required.
Slow Cooker Tomato Ketchup
16 cups tomatoes, crushed, drained well and then pureed
2 heads garlic, peeled and crushed
2 large onions, chopped fine
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Blanch, peel and quarter tomatoes. Thoroughly drain them in a colander. (The better you do this step, the better the ketchup will be. Try to drain all water from the tomatoes.) Puree in a blender, then measure puree to get 16 cups. Place in slow cooker with garlic and onion. With lid off the slow cooker, cook on low (depending on how close you want to watch it) for about 12 hours. I cooked on high for about 3 hours, then turned the pot to low and went to bed. In about 8 hours, the sauce had reduced by nearly half. When the sauce is reduced, add spices, sugars, and vinegar. Cook 3-4 more hours to allow to reduce more completely. During this time, you may want to put the lid on the pot, propped open with a wooden spoon.
When the sauce is thick, taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into clean pint jars, top with lids and rings, and process in a hot water canner for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before checking seal and storing.
This tomato jam was wonderful on this sandwich, accompanying the cream cheese spread.