“What do you mean ‘you made ketchup’?” – “Well, just that. I made ketchup.” It still amuses me when people get astounded by a simple statement like that. Most people consider ketchup something you’d -of course- buy at a supermarket and couldn’t care less about its ingredients list and high sugar content. Even though it’s dead simple to prepare and doesn’t take more than half an hour of one’s precious time!
Back in 2009 when I was working on my second book covering gifts from the kitchen, I started making ketchup. It was one of those culinary-life-changing-moments, after tasting one’s own creation there was simply no way back to store-bought condiments. The preparation is so fast, so easy and besides – being my favorite part – the sky is the limit in terms of possible flavor varieties. Years later I developed several “gifts from the kitchen”-recipes for the German ELLE and when we did a taste test at the magazine photo shoot, everybody instantly fell for the mango ketchup I had cooked. Back then I thought I had found my holy grail of homemade ketchup: fruity, spicy, incredible velvety. But now that this peach ketchup has entered my life, I am not so sure anymore… I smear it on everything, I dip bread into it – and I have never even been a ketchup person!
Peel the shallot and the garlic clove(s), then chop both finely, as well as the chile pepper (discard the seeds and membranes if you prefer it less spicy). Halve the peaches, remove their pits, peel with a knife and chop coarsely.
Heat the oil in a medium pot and sautée shallot, garlic and chile pepper until soft, they are not supposed to brown. Add bay leaves, curry powder, cinnamon, brown sugar and the tomato paste and roast shortly until you can smell the spices and the tomato paste starts to get darker, but don’t let it burn. Deglaze with the vinegar and immediately add the chopped peaches, then cook over low to medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring regularly.
Remove the bay leaves (!) and puree with a handheld blender until the ketchup becomes really smooth, then give it a taste test and salt/season to your liking. Remember: Ketchup is a condiment that is used to enhance flavor, so don’t be shy when seasoning (and once chilled it will taste even milder). Serve with grilled meats, roasted vegetables or use as a sandwich spread. Keeps in the fridge for several weeks.
Recipe source: own creation
Prep time: ~30min.
Ingredients (~350 ml):
1-2 garlic cloves
1/2 large, red chile pepper (e.g. dutch or cayenne)
450-500 g peaches (weighed without skin&stone, ~3-5 fruits)
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4-1/2 tsp curry powder (e.g. Madras)
1/4 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
1 tbsp brown sugar (e.g. Muscovado light or dark)
60 ml white wine vinegar
fine sea salt to taste