This is a recipe from my book Perfect Preserves, one I love so much I make it every summer at about this time when greengages are in the shops for a few brief weeks. Home made ketchups are easy to make and delicious to eat. You can use a wide variety of fruits and spices and once you’ve got the hang of the basics you can craft your own sauce tailoring it to your tastes, adding or subtracting chillies, upping the spice or garlic and using different sugars or vinegars. Keep the ratios the same and you will be fine.
A couple of tips here It is much easier to take out the pips before you cook the ketchup, the second is that you can just as easily “bottle” this in sterilised jars as fancy ketchup bottles.
The recipe might look long but that is only as I’ve tried to cover every stage, it really is simple to make and well worth the effort.
I serve this ketchup with just about everything you might otherwise use tomato ketchup on: burgers, steak, bacon sandwiches the list is endless.
And finally if you’d like to make the ketchup but are short of time freeze the greengages ready to make it later.
The lovely, talented Keiko Oikawa took this and all the other pictures in the book.
The ketchup has a light green colour and bright flavour. You can serve it with cold dishes especially pork and chicken or brush it onto meats on the barbecue basting them with the sauce about five minutes before they are done. I’ve also brushed it onto both vegetable and white fish kebabs, delicious.
When you are making any smooth sauce you will need to sieve it to remove any seeds, pips bits of spice etc. It is best to whiz the sauce in a blender or food processor before you do this to make the sieving easier so I find it saves time and mess to remove the stones from the greengages before I cook them.
Whilst it is more usual to see commercial ketchups packed in bottles I’m happy to use jars for mine. Bottles for ketchups and sauces are easily bought via mail order.
Chose unblemished fruit for this sauce if you want a good colour, bruised greengages go brown very quickly.If you want a milder sauce reduce the quantity of chilli, for a hotter one increase it.
400gm onion prepared weight (about 2 Large onions)
60gms fresh ginger
40gms fresh garlic
40gms green chillies
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cardamom pods
½ teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon black pepper corns
200mlwhite wine vinegar
250gms white sugar200ml
This sauce keeps for 6 months makes 6 x 200ml