When we visited Ellen and Roger, my great aunt and uncle, a few weekends ago, we were blessed with a cooler full of apricots from their trees out back. Most were RIPE and ready to be used immediately. Apricot mustard sounded great to me – but whenever I mentioned to friends that I was going to make it – they were skeptical. “Really, what will you put it on?”
Well, I was right. It turned out great. The best thing? The apricots did not need to be peeled!
from Urban Pantry by Amy Pennington
- 2 pounds apricots, pitted and halved
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 lemon, outer peel grated, halved, and juiced (seeds reserved in a muslin bag) **I used 1/4 cup lemon juice**
- ¼ cup brown mustard seeds
- ¼ cups yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon ground yellow mustard
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- In a large saucepan, combine the apricots, sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon halves, seed bag, and grated peel. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer. Skim away any foam from the surface as it cooks. Cook until the fruit is soft and the sugar is dissolved, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and, leaving the mixture in the saucepan, cover and hold in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- While the apricots are cooking, smash the brown and yellow mustard seeds with a mortar and pestle, working in small batches. Or use a spice grinder, grind to a coarse meal. Put the smashed seeds and ground mustard in a small glass bowl, pour in the apple cider vinegar, and set aside, covered, on the counter top, at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Prepare jars for canning. You will need to sterilize the empty jars.
- Put a small plate in the freezer to check the set later on. Return the saucepan of fruit to medium heat on the stove top and cook down until thickened and amber in color, about 30 minutes. Stir in the vinegar-mustard seed mixture. Scoop out about a cup of the apricot mustard and puree in a blender, on high speed, until creamy and smooth. **I used my immersion blender and just blended the mustard in the saucepan until it looked how I wanted it.** Add the pureed fruit back to the pot and cook until thick and the mustard has set, about another 15 to 30 minutes. Skim foam as necessary. Remove the lemon halves and seeds from the stockpot, pressing out any mustard or remaining juice and pulp, and compost.
- To test the set, remove the plate from the freezer and spoon a small amount of mustard on it. Push the mustard with your fingertip. It should wrinkle, indicating it has set. If the mustard is loose, return the mixture to the heat and cook for another 10 minutes, checking the set until the desired consistency is reached.
- Add the mustard to the prepared jars and gently tap the bottom of the jars on the counter to release any air bubbles. Using a clean damp cloth, wipe the rims of the jars and put the lids and rings on the jars. Process in a water bath for 5 minutes (whether using half-pint or pint jars).
- Remove the jars with tongs and let cool on the counter. When the mustard is cool, remove the metal rings, check for proper seals, and label with date and contents.
- Store in a cool, dark cupboard until ready to use, for up to one year.
- Once opened, store in the fridge for many months
- as a pretzel dip
- with pork or cured meats
- on brats (with Luce’s zucchini relish!)
- as a glaze on roasted meats