Popular wisdom holds that motherhood, baseball and apple pie are about as American as American can be. Conspicuously missing from this list is ketchup. Whether it’s old school Heinz or newfangled mash-ups like this recipe for Apple Cranberry Pumpkin Ketchup, ketchup has earned a place high up on the roster of What Makes This The Greatest Nation on Earth.

Ketchup’s roots are long and deep. Today it’s generally agreed upon that ketchup refers to a thick, smooth-textured sweet and tangy condiment usually made from tomatoes. But t’was not always the case.

This origins of this American staple can be traced to 1600s Malaysia where “kôe-chiap” or “kê-chiap” referred to piquant sauces made of fermented fish and spices. Down through the ages raisins, nuts, mushrooms, peppers, eggplants, and any other number of things have ended up in ketchup variations.
The tomato-based standardization is a relatively recent American innovation. But worry not, tomatoes aren’t missed in this just-in-time-for-the-holidays deluxe ketchup. Apples provide acidic sweetness, cranberries deliver their reliably astringent tartness and earthy pumpkin smooths out all the in-between.
To make this easy you’ll be glad you have:
– A large-capacity slow cooker, like this gorgeous stainless steel 7 quart Crock-Pot.
– A hand-cranked food mill (try this Foley 3.5-quart stainless steel number).
– Cheesecloth and twine
– Clean new canning jars and lids and a home canning kit including funnels, tongs and magnetic lid wand
Click here for the recipe for Apple Cranberry Pumpkin Ketchup.
Want to bone up on your condiment geek cred? Check it out: Tomato ketchup is classified as a pseudoplastic, or “shear thinning” substance. Shear thinning means the substance’s viscosity assumes more liquid characteristics as the speed of flow increases.  I.e. after a slow start, the faster the flow, the more fluid the sauce.
Since the most popular methods of vigorous shaking and bottle-bottom smacking are effective but slow I’ve found there’s no shame (and more dignity) inserting a butter knife into the neck of the bottle to get things moving along.  SpecD’s contributing culinary expert Steven Russell shared his effective technique: firm two-fingered taps on the inverted Heinz bottle’s neck right on the embossed 57 circle releases the flow in a classic example of enhanced shear thinning.
No matter: SpecD’s Apple Cranberry Pumpkin Ketchup is put up in 1 c. wide mouth jars, so it’s easy to spoon out.
Nostalgists should now cue up Carly Simon’s 1970s classic “Anticipation” Heinz commercial.
For our Apple Cranberry Pumpkin Ketchup recipe click here.
PS the WordPress gnomes refuse to honor paragraphy separations this morning, hence the bold lines to indicate breaks in the copy.



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Written by on November 13, 2012 under Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Relish, Kitchen Gadgets, Sauces.

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