Friday, June 2, 2017

Kicked Up Ketchup: No Sugar, No Vinegar

Recipe Provenance
The following recipe comes from a collection of recipes found in a manuscript journal located in the H. Furlong Baldwin Library at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. The manuscript is attributed to Ann Maria Morris and the date of 1824 is written on the inside cover. The recipe below is one of many from the manuscript that will be included in a book I am writing. The book will contain biographical information about Mrs. Morris, an annotated transcript of the entire manuscript as it was written, and a section of modern recipe adaptations (including this one!).

The Recipes

Tomato Catsup
Take ripe tomatoes, wipe them & put them down mashed to stew ‘till they are quite dissolved. then ring them thro’ an old linen cloth.  put them back in the skillet with a great deal of salt, & boil it well, taking the scum off as it rises, then put your spices in & boil it up—when cold bottle & seal it.--to one quart of Liquor add ¼ oz. of white pepper, ¼ oz. of mace, ¼ oz. cloves, ½ oz. horseradish & half an onion about 2 Spoonfuls of salt to a quart. -Harveys

Tomato Catsup
Wipe the tomatoes clean & slice them in a deep pan to every layer sprinkle a small handful of salt & let them lie 12 hours—put them in a skillet & let them boil four or five minutes, then strain them thro’ a coarse cloth to get all the juice-pour it in the skillet again & boil it briskly 30 minutes.  to one quart of liquor add ¼ oz. mace, ¼ oz. ginger, half ¼ oz. white pepper, ¼ oz. horse-radish, strain it thro’ a cloth, when cold bottle & cork it tight, put in each bottle 6 cloves, 5 blades of mace, & some nutmegs. –Lawsons

Modern Recipe Adaptation – Tomato Catsup
The amount of spices in the recipe as written makes the ketchup taste too bitter; therefore, I altered the quantities to make it taste better.


  • 4 Pounds Tomatoes ½ Cup Onions, Diced
  • 1 Teaspoon Grated Fresh Horseradish Root or 1/8 Teaspoon Horseradish Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Mace
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Grated Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground White Pepper
  • Pinch Ground Cloves
  • 1½ Teaspoons Salt 

  1. Wash the tomatoes. Chop them into quarters of eighths (if they are large). Place in a large stock pot. Add the diced onions. 
  2. Using a potato masher, press on the tomatoes to release their juices. 
  3. Heat on medium temperature until they start to soften and release more of their juices. Frequently press on them with the potato masher. Cook until they are soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and process with a food mill using the insert blade with the medium-size holes. You should get about 6 cups of tomato juice.
  5. Place the juice back into a pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30-45 minutes, until the juice is reduced down to 2 cups or until it is the consistency of commercial ketchup. This cooking time will vary depending on the moisture content of the tomatoes you use. 
  6. Remove from the heat. Using a hand-held food processor, blend until all the spices are incorporated and smooth.
  7. Let cool. Bottle and refrigerate.