I was very kindly given this glorious recipe last week by a friend and neighbour of my Mum and Dads in Herefordshire, Janette. My Mum had happened to mention quite how overrun I was with all our homegrown tommies and Janette suggested I used them to make Tommie Sauce and promptly emailed me the recipe that her mum had passed on to her that she’d always eaten as a child. How wonderful is that?.
I immediately set to to make it, just in the nick of time picking the last of our beef and plum tommies and a few of the still prolific cherries, and I couldn’t think of a better recipe to celebrate the end of one extremely hectic tomatoey summer. Incase you missed reading about all our tomatoes here’s my Tomato Veg of the Month Round Up. And although the tomato season is pretty much over for most people I couldn’t help myself in blogging it now rather than wait until next year, when undoubtedly I’ll be making many further batches!.
I should also mention that Janette is generally known to us as ‘Chocolate Janette’ as she so happens to own a small chain of gorgeous artisan chocolate shops in Ludlow, Worcester and Shrewsbury and an online business too, www.chocolategourmet.co.uk. Now that’s the sort of neighbour everyone needs!.
I have to admit to being extremely skeptical that a Homemade Tommie Sauce would meat the mark. The mark being the big H brand so known and loved. And how wrong was I? This recipe is superb, the kids couldn’t tell the difference and I would honestly go as far to say I preferred it, though it’s remarkably similar. I know we’re now at the end of the tomato year, but if you happen to come across some cheap and flavoursome tommies I urge you to make this, or bookmark it for next summer. It doesn’t take long at all, is foolproof simple and oh sooooooo good. I now have a serious addiction. In truth I’ve never been that huge on Tommie K though I do love it on a bacon butty, but now I’ve made my own it’s going on everything. I even made some homemade chips at the weekend to give it a thorough road test, and I don’t ever eat ketchup on chips. And I don’t have to tell you how good it was.
Similarly my kids aren’t huge Tommie K addicts like some kids, but then I probably haven’t allowed them to be. It’s only ever brought out with chips, which are a pretty rare treat at Chez Foti. But now it’s on free flow they’re asking for it with everything!. It’s actually called ‘Bop Bop’ sauce in our house, bet no one can guess why?!
As homemade Tommie K is technically a Preserve I’m also entering it to this month’s Tea Time Treats challenge, and it’s certainly a popular Tea Time Treat in our house now!. The blogging event it held jointly by Karen @ Lavender and Lovage and this month by Kate @ What Kate Baked.
The recipe below is pretty much exactly how Janette emailed it to me, though I used cider vinegar instead of the malt. Not to posh it up in any way, but you can’t buy malt vinegar in France. I also used a little less sugar as I didn’t feel it needed it all, but then my tommies were extremely ripe and sweet. I skinned my tomatoes first, which is really not at all tricky. Simply immerse them in boiling water for a minute then plunge into cold for a few moments, the skins will then effortlessly slip off. I didn’t bother with the straining (actually I started then promptly stopped as I didn’t want to waste so much goodness!) but gave the finished sauce a very good blitzing with a hand blender.
Homemade Tomato Ketchup
2700g (2.7 kilos) of ripe tomatoes
570ml of malt vinegar
225g of sugar
25g of salt
½ a teaspoon of allspice
½ a teaspoon of ground cloves
½ a teaspoon of cinnamon
a pinch of cayenne pepper
Special Equipment: Sterilised bottles or jars
Skin your tomatoes if preferred. Cut into rough quarters and simmer with the salt and vinegar until soft and broken.
Strain if you have not skinned then return the puree to the pan, add the sugar. Continue to simmer until the ketchup starts to thicken. Then add the spices a little at a time stirring thoroughly until the flavour is to your taste. I probably added a little more of each than the recipe called for.
When the ketchup is reasonably thick pour into sterilised hot bottles or jars and seal.
Please note it will be thicker when cold than hot, so don’t reduce it too far. If you like a more rustic texture with the seeds still in the sauce miss out the straining process.
And before I go, why ‘Bop Bop’ sauce? When the squeezy Tommie K sauce bottles are coming to an end (which ours is at the minute) the kids think the sound is hilarious, like a ‘bop bop’, which in case you (probably) need further explanation the kids call a ‘fart’ or bottom. And so Tommie K has become the ‘Bop Bop’ sauce!. My kids are very little, and Bops Bops are still one of the funniest things in their worlds!
October 24th, 2012 at 3:50 pm
Like the look of this recipe and REALLY like the look of your tomato glut. My own harvest was so pathetic, I would make enough of this for 1 portion of chips! But this makes me want to try harder next year. Andrea x
October 26th, 2012 at 11:27 am
Thanks Andrea, whilst it’s been lovely to have sooooo many tomatoes it’s been a ridiculous amount of work all summer, and I’m kind of pleased it’s nearly all over!. Though I’m sure I’ll be very grateful with our freezer and larder full of goodies over the winter.
October 24th, 2012 at 11:18 pm
Not sure I can wait for next year’s tomatoes to try this!
October 26th, 2012 at 11:27 am
Go and buy some, it’s really worth it!
October 25th, 2012 at 3:22 pm
Still feeling lustful towards your tomatoes – they are just wonderful. Homemade tomato ketchup is a revelation. I’ve never been able to eat the shop bought variety, but like you slather quite a lot of my homemade one over lots of things now and it is especially good with chips. I adapted Pam Corbin’s recipe in her excellent book Preserves – she’s got lots of interesting tomato recipes.
October 26th, 2012 at 11:31 am
Oh I did see her recipe for Roasted Tomato Ketchup and nearly made that too. I think we have enough to see us through until the next tomato season now, but I’m going to try hers next year too definitely. I agree Preserves is an excellent book, and I’ve been dipping into it quite a bit this year!, Louisa
July 26th, 2013 at 5:26 pm
I’m growing Super Marmandes at the moment, is that how big they’re going to get?
July 26th, 2013 at 8:11 pm
Hopefully! Those ones I grew last year were beauties and exceptionally tasty too!