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Spicy Tomato Ketchup

Makes about 8 pints


  • 12 pounds tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar or molasses
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mace (ground nutmeg may be substituted)
  • 1 stick cinnamon, broken
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Set a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add tomatoes and onion and cook until soft. Let cool slightly.
  2. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl. Working in batches if necessary, carefully pass the tomato-onion mixture through the sieve. Discard peels, seeds and other larger solids.
  3. Return the purée to the pot. Add the vinegar and sugar or molasses. Stir to combine. Cook until reduced by half, stirring occasionally.
  4. Place spices in a cloth bag or a sachet of cheesecloth tied with string, and add to purée.
  5. Continue cooking, uncovered, until it reaches desired consistency. Remove the bag of spices. Ladle ketchup into hot, sterilized jars, and follow a water-bath process to seal.

​This not-too-sweet version of the all- American condiment is adapted from a family recipe hand-written in a 1902 cookbook and from the first edition of The Original New York Times Cookbook. An heirloom ketchup for heirloom tomatoes, this is an ideal way to use ripe beefsteaks that are everywhere as summer wanes, but other varieties may be used, as well

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!