Sauces

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The same equipment as for pickles and chutney can be used for sauces, with the addition of a large hair or nylon sieve. An easy sauce can be made from any chutney recipe if the mixture is rubbed through a sieve about two-thirds of the way through the cooking time and then cooked again, but sauces must be sterilized in their bottles. Ketchup is thinner than sauce and a jelly bag is needed for straining.

Cut up fruit and vegetables need to be simmered in vinegar until soft, and then the sieved purée is sweetened and spiced and cooked gently until smooth and creamy with a bright colour and distinct flavour. Ketchup will be thin and almost clear. Both can be bottled in sterilized sauce bottles with vinegar-proof screw tops, but the filled bottles must be sterilized as well. Sauces should be stored in a cool dark place so that they do not discolour. If sauce does not keep, it may be because bottles and covers were not clean, or correctly sterilized. If sauce ferments or is mouldy, it must be thrown away, and this may have occurred because covers were not airtight or the storage place was too warm. If the mixture is not cooked long enough, there may be too much water left in, and this will also cause deterioration. Sometimes sauce has a slightly watery appearance and separates during storage, which probably means it has not been cooked quite long enough, and it is best shaken well to restore smoothness.

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