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'Hotter than Heinz' Ketchup

Monday, 26 May 2008


With salsa overtaking ketchup in sales volume in 1992, it made sense that the ketchup makers would fight back. There are several dozen brands of hot and spicy ketchup on the market these days, and more to come. This recipe will keep indefinitely.


At a glance
Cooking Method
Heat Level
2 1/2 cups

6 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 small purple onion, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons dried Italian parsley
1 1/2 cups malt vinegar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of white pepper
1/2 teaspoon habanero powder (or more to taste)
1 cinnamon stick, halved
1/2 whole nutmeg, tapped carefully with a hammer to split
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds


Place the tomatoes, onion, and parsley in a 4 to 5 quart heavy pot. Bring the ingredients to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the tomatoes are softened, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Press the tomato mixture through a fine sieve, pressing hard on the solids with the back of a broad wooden spoon to release the puree. Return the puree to the pot and discard the solids.

Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, white pepper, and the powdered habanero chile to the puree. Tie the remaining ingredients in several layers of cheesecloth, and add them to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook 2 to 2 1/2 hours, uncovered. As it cooks, periodically remove the froth that rises and stir down the sides. When the mixture is very thick, remove the tied spices.

Ladle the ketchup into a jar. Allow it to cool, and refrigerate. It keeps indefinitely.


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