Sweet and Sour Peach Ketchup
The idea that ketchup is made with tomatoes is a fairly recent innovation. Ketchup, which is no more than a slow-simmered sauce made with fruit, vinegar and spices, had a long and storied history in Asia and Europe long before the people of those continents encountered tomatoes, which are, after all, a New World crop. The combination of sweet and sour flavors, such as ketchup’s combination of fruit and vinegar, is a hallmark of Ashkenazi cuisine. Gil Marks notes in the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food that preparing dishes ahead of time to serve on Shabbat, in keeping with the prohibition against kindling a fire on the holiday, led Jewish cooks to rely on vinegar as a preservative. Sweet flavors were then added to cut the sharpness of the vinegar. For centuries, Jewish cooks made ketchups of all kinds with the fruits and vegetables available to them. Here I have updated the tradition to create a peach ketchup. The sweet, tangy flavor of this ketchup is outstanding on turkey burgers and chicken sandwiches. My family also enjoys it on sweet potato fries.
- 5 pounds (2.3 kg) yellow peaches, peeled and diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups (475 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1½ cups (300 g) brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon (18 g) pickling salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Prepare a boiling water bath and heat six 8-ounce (235-ml) jars. Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down and simmer until peaches are soft, about 10 minutes. Purée the mixture using an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor. Return the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat again and simmer until ketchup is thick, spreadable and will mound up on a spoon, 1 to 1½ hours. Ladle ketchup into clean, warm jars, leaving ½ inch (1 cm) of headspace at the top. Bubble the jars and wipe the rims with a damp cloth. Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings just until you feel resistance. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Allow to cool in the water for 5 minutes before removing. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
- From The Joys of Jewish Preserving by Emily Paster, © 2017 Quarto Publishing Group. Used by permission from the publisher, Harvard Common Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group. QuartoKnows.com.