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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Currant Ketchup

Currant Ketchup

2 cups dried currants
3 cups water
1/4 cup dark brown sugar -- packed
2/3 cup cider vinegar -- or to taste
2 shallots -- minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
salt and freshly ground black pepper -- to taste
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-size, heavy, nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat, cover, and gently simmer until thickened, 40 minutes. Stir the ketchup occasionally.
Correct the seasonings, adding salt, cayenne, vinegar, or brown sugar to
taste: The ketchup should be a little sweet, a little sour, and a little
Puree the mixture in the blender, adding a little water, if necessary, to
obtain a smooth sauce. Transfer the ketchup to sterile jars and store in
the refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks.

Makes 3 cups (48 one-tablespoon servings)

AuthorNote: This recipe was inspired by one I found in a nineteenth
century English cookbook. It's unlikely that its creator had every been to
Florida. Nonetheless, its sweet-hot-fruity flavor is very much at home in
our sunbelt cuisine. Currant ketchup goes particularly well with pork,
lam, and venison.

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