October 30, 2011

Autumnberry Ketchup

For several years now I've been all talk, claiming that I'd try to make something other than jam and fruit leather with the plentiful autumn olive berries, aka autumnberries, we have around our property.  Well this year the Spice Rack Challenge, mace, gave me a second reason to push myself to make some ketchup.  Mace if you don't know is the outer covering of nutmeg and is similar in flavor.  Though it is sometimes found in sweet recipes I find mace more suited to savory dishes.  Seasoning for pot roast or a pinch added to faux cheese sauce (made with nutritional yeast) are two of my favorite ways to use mace.  And you often find it in the spices in ketchup.  

I based my experimenting on a cherry ketchup recipe I found online from Jose Andres.  After making one batch with the exact same spice amounts I found his recipe a little too assertive and made some adjustments.  I love the resulting milder condiment.  It is very similar in taste to good store bought ketchup though my son Alex still found it too "mustardy".  I guess a few more batches are needed to fit his palate.  This shouldn't be a problem, we have enough berries on our land to fill a pool!
Perfect with homemade fries
(cooked in beef tallow, from my Gallagher Farms steer)
Autumnberry Ketchup
Based on several basic ketchup recipes online and this cherry ketchup from Jose Andres.
Makes ~1 1/2 cups

24 ounces of autumnberry pulp* (~3 cups)
1 teaspoon whole mace (or 1/3 teaspoon ground)
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground dry yellow mustard
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice berries
5 whole cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

-Add your prepared autumnberry pulp and the salt and spices to a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes.
-Add the vinegar and cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
-Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove the whole spices.  Store in the fridge until use.

*Instructions for autumnberry pulp:
Rinse and drain the berries.  Place in a pot with a tiny amount of water and cook covered over medium heat until the flesh is loose and the seeds squish out easily.  Strain the pulp either with a chinois, mesh strainer or a food mill.  I prefer the food mill.  Chill until use.  Be aware that the pulp may separate into the red skin material and a milky liquid.  If it does, stir it well before measuring for a recipe.

More autumnberry recipes
Autumn Olive Jam and Leather
Spiced Autumnberry Jam
*I also found a good article on mace at the Kitchn.  It has a great photo of mace covering a whole nutmeg.  
**Updated to add some more information about autumnberries/autumn olive:
Autumnberries are also known as autumn olive (scientific name: Elaeagnus umbellata) and are found in various places across the US, most heavily in the mid-west and New England. They are prevalent in my part of Michigan and thrive in nutrient poor, dry, disturbed areas. Here is a good link with pictures and information on how to identify the plants: Information on habitat and identification of autumnberry (aka autumn olive)

I've been busy sewing more this month. I just finished this jacket for Penny. She has a major Hello Kitty addiction.
And is also fond of apples.
We went to Rennie Orchards.  The kids loved their teepee.
Any hike means eating a ton of autumnberries off the bushes that are everywhere.
Alex's new photo expression, *maybe* it is a slight improvement over the tongue out and other crazy faces of the past months.
I added this post to the Make Your Own Mondays