Tomato Ketchup
sauce pickle veg vegan

3.5kg tomatoes, roughly chopped
1kg apples, peeled, cored and chopped
6 onions, peeled and chopped
800g sugar
1 litre malt vinegar
2 Tbsp sea salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
12 whole peppercorns
12 whole allspice
12 cloves
You will need a stainless-steel pan, large enough for all the ingredients. Tie the peppercorns, allspice, and cloves in a muslin or stockinet. This ketchup will improve with age.

Place all the ingredients in the pan, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer; you want to cook until the ingredients are a pulp, which should take apporoximately 2 hours. Remove from the heat and press through a sieve. Return the resulting mixture to the pan and heat to reunite it after its pressing experience. Boil for 2 or 3 minutes and then decant into sterilied jars and seal. Allow it a few days to find its feet, and then it is ready to use in all its many ways.

I've got a feeling I might have added some garlic.

I think I also found the first draught a bit anaemic, and reboiled the ketchup with an extra load of tomatoes. I suppose the quantity given might be OK if they were really good ruby tomatoes, I might have cheated a little with my second batch and oven-dried them for a while first.

Although I thought the result was really nice, and I've been enthusiastically layering it on my bacon sandwiches ever since (this made two middle-sized jar-loads), Georgina was not overly impressed and said it wasn't as good as The Real Thing.

The deception might have worked better if it wasn't noticeably brown in colour, instead of the hopelessly artificial colour of The Real Thing so I tried blending some pickled beetroot in, which didn't seem to make a great deal of difference. I would have liked to use some beetroot powder as a natural colouring agent, but couldn't find any.
Maybe next time.

Well now I have found some beetroot powder from some very efficient people at The Spiceworks ebay shop, so watch this space. But don't tell Georgina.