Blackberry Ketchup, Really?

Yep Really.

I am still wrangling with my obsession with summer fruit. This time it’s blackberries. In fact if you yourself were a member of the bramble berry family, you might want to take out a restraining order against me. Because blackberries bring out the Glenn Close in me, and together we will not be ignored. So rather than ignore either one of us, I thought I would play a little summer catch up and use blackberries in ketchup (yikes I am bad writer…).

Now I want to be clear. This condiment is much more ketchup than sauce. And it’s certainly not jam because it has a big vinegary bite. There is also enough complex spice in it to make it much more compatible with grilled meat than vanilla ice cream.

But this is no ordinary ketchup concoction. Tomatoes aren’t even invited to this show, because the real stars here are the darkest and most luxurious of all the summer berries. The aptly named blackberry.

It’s easy to make too. Once you have tasted it I know you’ll think of all sorts of ways to serve it. But I wanted to pay honor to its ketchup‑y nature so I used mine on a bun with grilled sausage. In this case classic garlic sausage with crunchy red onions and peppery watercress– oozing with intensely flavored blackberry ketchup. Sweet, and spicy with enough umami to make you scream oh, mommy!

Grilled sausage with blackberry ketchup & watercressBlackberry 5 Spice Ketchup makes 3 cups CLICK here for a printable recipe

Adapted from The Bowlegged Cowboy

  • 1 lb fresh blackberries
  • 1 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 t Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 pn salt
  • 1T unsalted butter

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat, combine the berries, vinegar, water, brown sugar, 5 spice powder, red pepper flakes and salt. When they begin to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, stirring often to keep the berries from sticking to the bottom and burning; about 30 minutes. The juices will thicken slightly. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.

Strain pulp through sieve to remove seeds, being sure to rub all the berry pulp you can through the mesh. Discarding solids. Return remaining pulp and liquid to saucepan and add the butter and simmer another 10 minutes until thickened to a ketchup consistency. Let cool, then pour into a sterilized jar and seal with a tight cap. Keep refrigerated.



Greg Henry

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