Can It Up: Small-Batch Blackberry Ketchup

Posted on 10 July 2013

Small-Batch Blackberry Ketchup

Ketchup or catsup?

Unlike the to-may-to/to-mah-to controversy, I’ve never met anyone who proposes that catsup is the correct term. Maybe I don’t know any southern or British people. For your reference, I fall squarely into the to-may-to camp.

In any case, ketchup was among my favorite foods as a child. From what I understand (since I don’t know any personally), this is typical of small children. In retrospect, it’s mind-boggling that I would happily eat the overly sweet salt bomb that is store-bought tomato ketchup with bread alone, nothing else required.

Small-Batch Blackberry Ketchup

My mind was blown 6 years ago when I realized that ketchup referred to a type of sauce, not to a type of tomato sauce. But it took a few years to try my hand at condiments since I was so jam-obsessed early on.

That first attempt — at tomato ketchup, no less — was an utter disaster. The recipe I used was so cumbersome that it had to be divided into 3 pots. Three pots meant arithmetic was involved. Chaos (and incorrect division) ensued.

After that devastating debacle, I was loathe to try again. Until this year. After last year’s nominal preserving season in Colorado, I vowed to make this first year back in California count. And that would include tomato ketchup.

Small-Batch Blackberry Ketchup

Of course, this recipe isn’t for tomato ketchup; it’s for blackberry ketchup. Fair enough. But I assert that blackberry ketchup may be even more wondrous than tomato. Plus, it was the perfect small-batch/low-risk recipe to try for this month’s Can It Up.

The swap of the blackberry for the tomato completely transforms this sauce. There’s still the expected kick from vinegar and the traditional punch of the spice blend, but the blackberry lends it an almost jammy, even slightly sour quality.

I can’t wait to try this with some grilled sausages. Or maybe even on a cheeseburger. It doesn’t get more traditional than that.

Small-Batch Blackberry Ketchup

Small Batch Blackberry Ketchup

Yield: 4 4-ounce jars


2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 small lime
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the berries, vinegars, and lime juice to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain out the seeds and return the liquid and pulp to the saucepan.
Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, salt, and cayenne pepper. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Pour ketchup into 4-ounce jars. Process 10 minutes.

Adapted from Food Network, Eating Well, and The Washington Post

4 responses to Can It Up: Small-Batch Blackberry Ketchup

  • Ohhhh, blackberry ketchup! What a cool idea! I totally want to taste this. Definitely on a burger! 🙂 Sorry I’ve been MIA with the Can It Up Projects of late…I have no good excuses! But, I’m excited to be participating this month…I have some Strawberry Vanilla jam in my very near future…

    • allfourburners says:

      Gloria, I’m so excited to crack open a jar! No worries about missing a few months — it’s designed to be super casual and non-stressful. Can’t wait to read about your strawberry vanilla jam!

  • Loa says:

    I just made a batch. The taste test was wonderful! I see burgers and fries in the near future to really test it!

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