Edible DIY: Cranberry Orange Mustard
Do you love mustard? Is your refrigerator filled with little glass jars half-filled with whole-grain, deli style, honey, and spicy brown? Mine sure is. But until recently, it never occurred to me to try and make mustard on my own. It turns out the process is incredibly easy. Now that I know how to whip up a batch, I may never shell out for a fancy jar of Dijon again.
The basic method is simple: soak whole mustard seeds in hot vinegar until most of the liquid is absorbed. Puree the mixture in a blender and then combine it in a pot with dry mustard, sugar, and other seasonings. Simmer it for a little while until it reduces, then transfer it to hot sterilized jars.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I decided to make mustard flavored with apple cider vinegar, cranberries, fresh orange juice, and just a hint of allspice. The results are fantastic. The mustard is visually stunning: dark rose in color, and spotted with whole mustard seeds. When it first hits your tongue you notice the fruity flavors of the cranberries and orange, but the heat and spice of the mustard seeds definitely comes through on the finish.
Sweet, tart, and tangy, this mustard would be a great addition to a pre-dinner cheese plate. Spoon a little blob over a chunk of aged cheddar—pure heaven. Of course, it would equally delicious on leftover turkey sandwiches. This recipe makes about seven four-ounce jars. If you're having a smallish Thanksgiving, write each guest's name on a card and tie it to a jar. Then use them as place settings.
About the author: Lucy Baker is a freelance food writer and the author of the cookbook, The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets.