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Mums Tomato Sauce

  • 40 minutes
  • 2½ hours
  • Makes 6 x 200ml bottles
Mums Tomato Sauce

This is my mother’s tried and true recipe; the only change by me has been to add an onion for flavour, which can be left out. You need the ripest juiciest tomatoes for best flavour.


  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 3.6 kilogram ripe, juicy tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 kilogram sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups malt vinegar


  1. Tie the whole cloves in a small piece of muslin
  2. Into a large preserving pan put the cloves, tomatoes, onion, garlic, sugar, salt, cayenne and vinegar and stir well to mix. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring regularly until the sugar dissolves and then bring to the boil.
  3. Boil rapidly for about 1½ -2 hours, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and pulpy.
  4. Remove from the heat, remove any scum that has formed on top and allow the sauce to cool for about 20 minutes.
  5. Put the sauce through a mouli to remove pips and skins, or puree in a blender and sieve. Return to a clean preserving pan and bring back to the boil. If the sauce is thin, boil, stirring regularly until it is the thickness you prefer. Bottle the hot smooth sauce into hot, dry, sterilized bottles and seal when cold.

Cooks Tips

Making sauces and ketchups involves vegetables/fruit being cooked in vinegar, sugar or syrup, spices and flavourings and then sieved to produce a pouring consistency. Flavours are entirely up to the cook – sweet, savoury, hot or mild – again use whole spices tied in a muslin bag for ease of handling. - Cut the time factor down by processing the vegetables/fruit in a blender before cooking. - A mouli, old fashioned it might look – will give you a smoother texture than puree the cooked vegetables to make a sauce. If you are using a food processor or blender, sieve the mixture afterwards to get a fine sauce.

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