After several years of experiments, I finally got the spices down to make homemade ketchup that tastes better than Heinz 57. Yes, a perfectly balanced, deep, rich homemade ketchup without all the nonsense. And it's safe for canning, too!
There are many reasons to make your own ketchup. The bottled stuff (even the most top-shelf variety) has an indeterminate amount of sugar and “natural flavorings” — what does “natural” taste like, anyway?
The swap of the blackberry for the tomato completely transforms this ketchup. There's still the expected kick from vinegar and the traditional punch of the spice blend, but the blackberry lends it an almost jammy, even slightly sour quality.
Juicy plums, rich zinfandel, and aromatic spices make this seasonal plum ketchup a new favorite in our house. Inspired by our move to Sonoma County, this ketchup is made with local ingredients and spiced with star anise.