The very first time that I tried to replicate the flavor of store bought ketchup I was absolutely floored by the amount of salt and sugar I needed to add to it before it "tasted the same". After adding several TABLESPOONS of BOTH Salt and Sugar... I decided it was time to take a closer look at the ingredients in the ketchup bottle itself.
That's when I discovered that the two main ingredients are High Fructose Corn Syrup and Corn syrup. Well gee... no wonder my homemade tasted more like tomatoes than sweet sauce. So, I played with recipe a bit until I found one that worked for us, gave us the flavor of ketchup that my kids enjoyed, but without the nasty GMO laden corn syrup that as a mom, I'm not a fan of!
1 cup tomato sauce2 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine everything in a small bowl, stirring well, let set at least 30 minutes for flavors to mingle.
The cloves really adds the zip. For personal preference I also like to add a touch of freshly cracked black pepper.
If you want it to be thicker:
Combine all but 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar, salt and cloves in a small saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch to the reserved 2 Tbs of (cold) tomato sauce, mixing well.
Bring the saucepan to a simmer over medium heat, add the cold tomato sauce/cornstarch mixture to the saucepan, bring it to a boil stirring constantly to thicken. Immediately remove from heat. Cool, Chill thoroughly before serving.
This will make a "thick" ketchup like store bought.
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / OlgaVolodina