Canning and Preserving · Cranberries · Mustard

Cranberry Mustard

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One of the goodies I gave out for Christmas this year was a Cranberry Mustard. 

My sister had a TON of frozen cranberries – someone gave them to her – and she gave me a huge bagful around Thanksgiving time.  I figured I could find good uses for them, and this mustard was one of them.

Besides the mustard, I made a batch of Cranberry-Grape preserves, but I didn’t take pictures.  I’ll probably make another batch, though.  I gave most of the jars away, and Alex really liked the flavor, so I’ll have to make more.

But for now – the mustard.

The recipe comes from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  I made a few tiny changes to the recipe, based on the amount of mustard powder vs. mustard seed I had, and I’ve got one cautionary suggestion for you, should you decide to whip up a batch.

Anyway, the first items you need are red wine vinegar and mustard seeds.  (Quantities will be at the end of the post.)

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You put the vinegar in a pan, bring it to a boil, and then steep the seeds in the vinegar for about an hour and a half.

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While the seeds are soaking, you’ve got plenty of time to prep your jars and lids and canning equipment…

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And thaw your cranberries if necessary. 

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Once the mustard seeds have softened and absorbed some of the vinegar, you put them (and any remaining liquid) in a food processor or blender.

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Now, the recipe tells you to also add in a cup of water a this point, along with some Worcestershire sauce, and process until most of the seeds are well chopped. 

If you’re using a blender, that’s fine, but if you’re using a food processor, I’d say leave the water out for now.  There is so much free space in the food processor that a lot of the seeds escape the blade. 

I did what I could, but if/when I make this again, I’ll add the water in after I chop the mustard seeds.  I’ll get a better ratio of chopped to not-chopped seeds, I think.  (You don’t want them ALL chopped – you want that graininess in the mustard.)

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Next, you add in the cranberries and run the processor again, until the cranberries are very well chopped. 

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Pour this mixture into a stainless steel pot and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat and boil gently for 5 minutes.

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At this point you stir in sugar, dry mustard and ground allspice. 

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Oh, the mouthwatering aromas permeating your kitchen right now!  (Warmed vinegar always makes me hungry.)

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Now you keep the mixture boiling gently, over low heat, for about fifteen minutes, until you’ve reduced it by a third.

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Then you ladle the mustard into your jars and process in the hot water bath.

Here’s how the mustard looks after all that:

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Isn’t it pretty?  It went really nicely with some ham steaks I bought, and Bill had some in a sandwich as well.  It’s not too hot, not too sweet – I think it’s just right.  I also think it would go nicely with chicken, and roast beef.

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Here’s the recipe from start to finish, with the slight changes I made to the ingredient quantities.

Cranberry Mustard

(makes about 7 4-oz jars)

1 cup red wine vinegar

2/3 cup yellow mustard seeds (I used a little over 1/2 cup)

1 cup water

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 3/4 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen-and-thawed)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup dry mustard (I used a little over 1/3 cup)

2 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice

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1.  In a medium stainless steel saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil over high heat.  Remove from heat and add mustard seeds.  Cover and let stand at room temperature until seeds have absorbed most of the moisture, about 1 1/2 hours.

2.  Prepare canner, jars and lids.  (Wash with hot, soapy water, then sterilize jars by placing them rim-deep in a pot of water and bring the water to a simmer; do the lids in a smaller pot.  Keep jars and lids in hot water until ready to use.  I sterilize my funnel and ladle in with the jars.)

3.  In a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine marinated mustard seeds (with liquid), water and Worcestershire sauce.  (*I’d process without the water if using the food processor.)  Process until blended and most seeds are well chopped.  (You want to retain a slightly grainy texture.)  Add cranberries and blend until chopped.

4.  Transfer mixture to a stainless steel saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.  Whisk in sugar, dry mustard and allspice.  Continue to boil gently over low heat, stirring frequently, untilvolume is reduced by a third, about 15 minutes.

5.  Ladle hot mustard into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more hot mustard.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight. 

6.  Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store. 

(Make sure the lids seal properly – listen for that little “pop” as the pressure in the jars pulls on each lid.  You can check this by pressing on the lid with your finger.  There should not be any give in the lid.  Usually the “pop” happens soon after I remove the jars from the water.  If you have any jars that don’t seal properly within 24 hours, put them in the fridge and use them up first.  You can also check the seal by removing the metal band and lifting the jar by the edge of the lid (hold the bottom of the jar in your other hand, just in case!).  If the seal is good, the lid will be able to hold the jar, no matter the weight.)

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I’m thinking this would probably go nicely with corned beef, too….

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