Along the Grapevine

Wild Grape Ketchup

12 Comments

Image

The wild grapes are finally beginning to ripen in our area, so I am now able to work on some recipes which were the ‘raisin’ d’etre for this blog. The birds have already taken many, so I picked what I could should they disappear soon. I am not sure of the exact variety of the ones I picked. These ones, as you can see are very small, about the size of a blueberry. I hope to find some larger ones for other recipes, but these small ones are excellent for this one.

ImageImage

I started making grape ketchup a few years ago, as finding myself with a good supply of wild grapes, and not wanting to make either wine or jelly, I decided if there was not such a thing as grape ketchup, there should be. Sure enough, I was not the first to think of it, and there are plenty of recipes out there. However, most use cultivated grapes, which are larger and sweeter, but do not have the strong flavour or the nutrients of the wild variety. Also, I do not add water, which reduces the cooking time – good for me and the quality of the end product. Most any grape would work with this recipe, but I would recommend a fairly sour variety with a thick skin, which will add enough pectin to the mixture for it to thicken nicely.

It is good not only as a condiment but as a marinade for game and poultry, and I expect would go very well with lamb and pork too.

Apart from the picking, the ketchup is really very simple. Just wash the grapes and pick the berries off the stems, discarding any green ones. Place them in a pan, heat and simmer for about five minutes. Juice will begin to form at the bottom of the pan, but to help them along, use a potato masher to get as much juice out as possible.

100_0431

Then, strain the mixture through a food mill or sieve, measure, and return the juice to the pan.

For every cup of puree:

1/2 cup brown sugar (or more to taste)

1/2 cup wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. allspice

Simmer the mixture until it is the right consistency, a little over an hour. I test it by cooling a small spoonful. I make it less dense than a commercial ketchup, but about as thick as a creamy yogourt. I do not process the jars – just freeze them.

This is a fairly tart ketchup as I prefer it, but it could stand probably up to double the amount of sugar. You can easily add more as it cooks and taste it.

100_0437

I left a small amount in the bottom of a pan, and as a first use i deglazed it, added venison meatballs I had in the freezer and some quartered fresh plums. From that I deem the ketchup recipe a success.

One experiment often leads to another. Left with a pile of grape seeds, which are supposed to be highly nutritious and, I have noticed, are sold in granular form in health food stores, I decided to dry them and see what I could do. I rinsed and drained them, removing some of the skin that rose to the top, but certainly did not get it all. I then put the dripping seeds in the oven at 275 for about an hour, and as they were getting too hot and the water had mostly evaporated, I spread them out in the sun for another couple of hours. I don’t leave anything in the sun too long, for fear of botulism, but by that time they were sufficiently dry. I ground them in the coffee grinder – and then on to my next experiment.

100_0439

I mixed a large spoonful in some hot water. It was a creamy pinkish colour but the seeds at the bottom were not very appetizing. Next experiment was to simmer the same amount in a small pot of hot water for about an hour and strain. The colour was browner, but the taste was equally good and no junk at the bottom. All in all, a pleasant surprise as experiments go, and for anyone who wants to get all the goodness out of the grapes, might be worth trying.

Advertisements

Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

12 thoughts on “Wild Grape Ketchup

  1. Ah, I love a good pun. Raison d’être > raisin d’être gets my vote for best pun of the day.

    Like

  2. what lovely photos, really like the hand

    Like

  3. The Wild Grape Ketchup recipe looks wonderful. Thanks Hilda.

    Like

  4. Grape ketchup is such an interesting idea… I wonder if it would work with the green grapes we are growing….

    Like

    • If you think of ketchup as just another sweet and sour sauce, I would think just about any fruit would work. Your green grapes might be quite sweet, so probably won’t need much sugar, but vinegar and whatever spices you choose to use should be fine. I like to start with smaller amounts in my experiments. And have you tried adding grapes to pies? They make the best pies – especially when mixed with other fruit, like peaches or apples.

      Like

      • We don’t have any wild grapevines that I am aware of here in southwestern B.C. and our grapevine is only a couple of years old. So far we have just eaten the grapes right off of the vine. Hopefully we will have more next summer to start experimenting with. The pies sound wonderful! I will have to keep that idea, as well as the ketchup, in mind!

        Like

  5. Pingback: Pulled Venison with Wild Grape Ketchup | Along the Grapevine

  6. Pingback: Homemade Ketchups | Along the Grapevine

  7. Pingback: Mullein Tisane | Along the Grapevine

  8. Pingback: Green Tomato Ketchup | Along the Grapevine

  9. Pingback: Wild Grape Curd | Along the Grapevine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s