Ketchup, Salsa, and Barbecue Sauce… with Fruit!

I loved watching my Mom make strawberry and saskatoon berry  jam when I was a kid, and I always enjoyed eating the canned peaches and black cherries in syrup that she’d save for company.  However, since I started canning for myself years ago, I’ve neglected fruit preserving in order to focus on pickles and tomato based salsas. I think I like the challenge of transforming something ordinary into something extraordinary, and fruit is so scrumptious on its own that it almost feels like overkill to bother doing anything with it.  Marla is perhaps a bit more practical about the whole fruit preserving thing – canning is certainly a sensible way to keep enjoying the lusciousness of fruit all year round, but… I don’t know.  Fruit just seems too…. obvious for me.

L-R Blueberry chutney, Peach Salsa, Peach BBQ Sauce, Red Currant Chutney

This has all changed this year.  I’ve discovered savoury fruit condiments!

So far this year I’ve made blueberry chutney, peach and jalapeño salsa, red currant and apple chutney, and a zesty peach barbecue sauce.  I’m still planning on making some cranberry ketchup in fall and will probably make some kind of preserve with apple, onion and sage.  I’ve also lusted after a recipe for Raspberry Chipotle BBQ sauce, but was a little late in the game with raspberry season this year so I’ll have to wait until next year for that one!

Savoury fruit preserves are not a new invention – many fruit chutney recipes were originally developed as Anglicized versions of Indian chutneys in the 19th century, and traditional pickle-type preserves like Green Tomato Chow could be seen to have originated in this tradition.   On the other hand, certain condiments like tomato ketchup have become so popular that few people know that they used to used to be made with lots of different kinds of ingredients like mushrooms, walnuts and even oysters, and were originally inspired by Asian fish sauces.  The use of tomatoes in a lot of these condiments has really only been popularized in the last 100 years but is now the basis of almost all commercial salsas, barbecue sauces, and ketchup.

The definitions of sauces like chutney, relish, salsa and ketchup have changed quite a bit since they were first popularized.  Today the preference for lighter grilled fish and meat pairs beautifully with fresh tasting fruit condiments.  And who knows – maybe some day the following recipes for Rhubarb Ketchup, Zesty Peach BBQ sauce, and Peach Jalapeño salsa will become the new norms.  Even if they don’t, they’re all phenomenal ways to capture the flavour of summer in a jar!

For a refresher on canning tools and procedures, check out our Canning 101 post: https://adventuresinlocalfood.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/canning-101/

Peach and Jalapeño Salsa – makes about 10-250ml jars or 5-500ml jars

Adapted from The Complete Book of Pickling by Jennifer MacKenzie

10 cups of finely chopped and peeled peaches

2 cups finely chopped onions

1 ½ cups finely chopped red or yellow bell peppers

¼ cup minced seed jalapeño peppers

3 cloves of garlic, minced

½ cup granulated sugar

1 ½ tsp pickling salt

1 tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup white vinegar

2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (mint can be substituted for non-cilantro lovers)

1.  Prepare canner, jars and lids.

2.  In a large pot, combine peaches, onions, red peppers, jalapeños, garlic, sugar, salt cumin, cinnamon and vinegar.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often.  Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring often, for about 20 minutes or until onions are translucent and salsa is slightly thickened.  Stir in fresh herbs.

3. Ladle hot salsa into hot pint jars, leaving ½ inch headspace as necessary by adding hot salsa.  Wipe rim and place hot lid disc on jar.  Screw band down until fingertip-tight.

4.  Place jars in canner and return to a boil.  Process for 20 minutes.

Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce – makes about 8-250ml jars

Adapted from the Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving

6 cups finely chopped, pitted and peeled peaches

1 cup finely chopped seeded red bell pepper

1 cup finely chopped onion

3 Tbsp finely chopped garlic (approx. 6 cloves)

1 ¼ liquid honey

¾ cup cider vinegar

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp chipotle chilies in adobe sauce, chopped fine (or substitute 2 tsp hot pepper flakes)

2 tsp dry mustard

2 tsp salt

  1.  Prepare canner, jars and lids.
  1. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine all ingredients.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened to the consistency of a thin commercial barbecue sauce, about 25 minutes.
  2. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot sauce.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar, Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
  3. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Rhubarb Ketchup Recipe

(Verge Permaculture in Alberta via Jen Stotland)

4 cups rhubarb, diced

2 med onion, diced

3/4 cup cider vinegar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup cane sugar

1 can tomato – 28 oz

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp pickling spice

  1. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
  1. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine all ingredients.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened to a nice ketchup-type consistency, about 25 minutes.
  2. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot sauce.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar, Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
  3. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
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One thought on “Ketchup, Salsa, and Barbecue Sauce… with Fruit!

  1. Hi, Great article! I’m glad there are so many recipies for fruity ketchup, I didn’t know this was a thing until this year. I made the rhubarb ketchup with 1.5 c of turbinado sugar (instead of using half brown sugar) and it turned out alright. I would use 1C of sugar in future though as this turned out to be really sweet.

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