Food

Ketchup aux Fruits

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Food

Ketchup aux Fruits

dsc08090 Ketchup aux Fruits In Quebec, one of the most beloved relishes is Ketchup aux Fruits. Not smooth nor nearly as red as commercial burger-topping ketchup, Ketchup aux Fruits is more like chili sauce - only with late summer fruits in partnership with tomatoes. It's the sauce every grandmother made, each with her own little variation on the tomato, peach, pear, apple, celery and onion theme.   [caption id="attachment_653" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="Ketchup aux Fruits is not the only artisanal fruit product at the market in Quebec City."]Ketchup aux Fruits is not the only fruit product at the market in Quebec City.[/caption]     Just how a relish that calls for peaches, not a commercial crop in Quebec, came to be so much part of a Quebec culinary repertoire is a mystery. But how good it tastes with tourtiere is no mystery - it's sweet and tangy, with a touch of spice providing a perfect foil to rich pastry and meaty filling. The other place where Ketchup aux Fruits or Fruit Chili Sauce is a tradition is southern Ontario, a part of the country where peaches from the Niagara are an every summer experience. In both places, visible chunks of fruit are part of the relish's charm. Given that recipes for Fruit Chili Sauce have been being published for decades, it's no surprise to now find this bicultural bilingual recipe shared across Canada. Here's the recipe that make me think of the jars in my grandmother's fruit cellar on a farm near Mitchell Ontario. The Quebec counterpart may have included celery for texture, possibly using white vinegar and brown sugar. Some even fiddled with the fruit, using plums to replace some of the peaches.  But it all ended up as Ketchup aux Fruits or a good Fruit Chili Sauce. dsc03746 Ketchup aux Fruits (Fruit Chili Sauce) 8 cup (2 L) peeled chopped ripe tomatoes 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) peeled diced onions 2 cups (500 mL) peeled, pitted and diced peaches or pitted diced  nectarines 2 cups (500 mL) peeled cored and diced pears or apples 3/4 cup (175 mL) seeded diced sweet red pepper 2 cups (500 mL) cider vinegar 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) granulated sugar 2 tsp (10 mL) salt, regular or sea salt 1/4 cup (50 mL) mixed pickling spice .  In a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, stir together the tomatoes, onions, peaches, pears and sweet pepper. Stir in the vinegar, granulated sugar and salt. Tie the mixed pickling spice in a 6-inch (25 cm) double thickness square of cheesecloth. Nestle in the pan.  dsc03754 . Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until thick, the chunks are tender and the liquid is no longer watery, about 1-1/2 hours. Remove the spice bag, pressing its juices back into the pan.    [caption id="attachment_659" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="A wide relatively shallow Dutch oven is perfect for cooking relishes, especially it it's like this one with a thick cast aluminum pad under its bottom."]A wide relatively shallow Dutch oven is perfect for cooking relishes, especially it it's like this one with a thick cast aluminum pad under its bottom.[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_660" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="This is a satisfying thickness. The Ketchup aux Fruits (Fruit Chili Sauce) has boiled down to about two-thirds of its initial volume. "]This is a satisfying thickness. The Ketchup aux Fruits (Fruit Chili Sauce) has boiled down to about two-thirds of its initial volume. [/caption]             . Pour into prepared 1-cup or 2-cup (250 or 500 mL) preserving jars, leaving 1/2-inch (2 cm) headspace. Seal with prepared discs, and bands. Boil in boiling water canner for 20 minutes. (See Canning Basics below).  . Makes about 9 cups (2.25 L) Ketchup aux Fruits (Fruit Chili Sauce).   Canning Basics:  . Ensure that you have enough preserving jars in perfect condition. Wash, rinse and air dry.  . Always use new lids. Place in a bowl and five minutes before filling jars, cover the lids with hot, not boiling water to soften the sealing compound.  . Before starting to cook the Ketchup aux Fruits, fill a boiling water canner about two-thirds full; add the preserving jars, letting them fill with water. Cover and start to heat about 30 minutes before preserve is ready to jar.  dsc03778 . Using canning tongs, move the jars from the canner to a tray beside the stovetop. Increase heat under the canner to bring the water closer to the boil while filling the jars.  . Using a funnel and a 1/2 cup (125 mL) metal dry measuring cup, fill the jars to within 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) of the top. If you've used the funnel and scoop chances are there won't be any salsa on the rim of the jars. Or, not much. But inevitably, some will slop over; wipe any off using damp paper towel.   [caption id="attachment_661" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="This method of filling jars is so much neater than using a ladle, or filling a big pitcher and pouring into the jars. "]This method of filling jars is so much neater than using a ladle, or filling a big pitcher and pouring into the jars. [/caption]   . Place the prepared discs on the jars, and with a firm but not forced motion, screw on the bands until resistance is met, then tighten just to finger-tip tight. Note the lids in the red bowl in the background. They are covered with hot water.   [caption id="attachment_663" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="Canning tongs in action, gripping the jar and its hot contents safely."]Canning tongs in action, gripping the jar and its hot contents safely.[/caption]     . Use canning tongs to transfer the filled jars safely to the rack in the canner. Lower rack into the water. Add more boiling water  if necessary so that the jars are covered by 1 inch (2.5 cm). . Cover the canner; bring the water to a vigorous boil. Time the boiling from this point.  . At the end of the boiling time, turn off the heat. Remove the cover and let the boiling subside. Lift the rack and with canning tongs, transfer the jars to a rack or folded thick towel. . Let stand for a day; wipe, label and check each jar. Properly sealed jars have lids that have curved down. Jars with lids that didn't snap down need to be refrigerated and relished within 3 weeks. But before you think you'll lose half your preserves, note that if you have used new lids, real preserving jars and respected the headspace and sealing gospel given above, it will be extremely rare that a jar doesn't seal properly.  dsc037962
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Ketchup aux Fruits

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