Cherry-Chipotle Ketchup

4 cups well-crushed sweet cherries
3 cloves garlic, quartered
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground chipotle
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Prep your jars/lids. Place all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed nonreactive pot (I used my enameled cast iron Dutch oven). Bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender or ladle in a regular blender to pulse until smooth. Return to a rolling boil and cook until thickened to ketchup consistency*, about 20 minutes. Ladle into pint jars leaving 1/4 inch headroom. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Yield: about 4 8-oz jars

Note: A great source for canning information is the Blue Book guide to preserving. I highly recommend it for learning how to can. Here are some of my other favorite canning books and supplies.

*The sauce does thicken up a bit upon cooling. You can place a small amount on a dish and chill it in the refrigerator (while you’re cooking the ketchup) to check the cooled consistency if you’d like.

My thoughts:

The cherry recipes continue! As longtime readers know, one of the few foods I truly despise is ketchup. Sweet, syrupy, bland tomato ketchup holds no appeal. I do like to dip things so I’m always a little sad when I have say, a tot and nothing to dip him in. Enter the homemade fruit (and vegetable!) ketchup. Spicier and more flavorful than its store-bought red cousin, it is welcome on burgers, fries and any place you need some zip.

For this one, I paired the sweet cherries with chipotle to give it some heat and used what I think of as “warm” spices to flesh out the flavor. I love the result! A ketchup for adults and sophisticated children everywhere.

Note: Since this makes a small batch, I made it at the same time as the cherry-raspberry jam so I could fill one whole canning pot.

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