Cherry Ketchup

I’ve had this recipe up my sleeve for a while now, waiting for a good time to share it with you all. The guys at work have thoroughly enjoyed the cherry ketchup, as have I.

Let me explain how I got to the idea of cherry ketchup to start with though.


Back in July, on our last day of school, a family gifted all of the teachers with an entire crate of cherries. We were all delighted, and then we realised that we were all going away and would need to eat the cherries there and then. We split the cherries among ourselves, and had leftovers for the office. No joke, we probably all went home with at least 600 grams of cherries each.

I ate half of my share for dessert and lunch the next day, and then pitted and froze the rest.


Along comes September, and I am trying to clear out bits and pieces in my freezer (not going to lie, I’m still trying little by little), and I decide to research what I could do with the cherries.

I know there are your typical cherry pies, or cherry sorbet, but I wanted to do something a little bit different. That’s when I stumbled across cherry ketchup. It’s a little bit like a jam, but squeezable and has a much deeper flavour, thanks to the cinnamon and cloves.


I’ve adapted the recipe from Saveur (click the name to see the original recipe), and reduced the amount of sugar that is used. The cherry ketchup goes really well with meats, especially sausages, and is a great alternative to BBQ sauce.

The next time you find yourself with too many cherries, but not feeling up to a dessert, give this a go.




300 grams cherries, pitted
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 lemon, zested

  1. Add the cherries, vinegar, honey and sugar together to a saucepan, and stir. Turn the heat up high, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, until the cherries are soft.
  2. Remove from the heat, and blitz in a food processor. Return to the saucepan, and add the remaining ingredients.
  3.  Cook, stirring regularly, for 35 – 40 minutes, over a low heat. The sauce should be thick, so if it needs a bit more time, cook it for longer. It will continue to thicken as it cools as well.
  4. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove whole cloves.
  5. Pour into a sterilised, heat-proof container, or sauce bottle. Ketchup will keep for 6 weeks in the fridge.

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