I was asked by the Northwest Cherries and Washington State Fruit Commission if I’d like to participate in their ‘Canbassador’ program to help them promote food preservation through their website Sweet Preservations. The site has recipes, ideas and a whole host of free canning label downloads (check them out!).
Yesterday I was sent peaches and nectarines to play with. Since I’ve been making massive amounts of jam this season, mostly to sell at farmer’s markets, I wanted to do something different with this gifted fruit.
I recently discovered Mostarda. I bought the Preservation Kitchen by Paul Virant, acclaimed chef, restauranteur and preserved foodie. I made his Cherry Mostarda and was immediately hooked. I like this condiment better than chutney. It’s often used with meats, but I think it would be terrific on rice and heavier winter vegetable dishes (squash..mmm).
I did a little research and learned Mostarda is Italian and is traditionally made from the must of grapes before wine making mixed with mustard and cooked down (the name went from Italian to French and translated back.. confusing). The most popular in Italy is Mostarda di Frutta, candied fruits in a mustard syrup. It can be made with most fruit, fresh or dried, the basic ingredients remain the same. Mustard, mustard seeds, vinegar, sugar, fruit, salt. The vinegar can change, Champagne, Red Wine, Sherry, here I’ve used a fine grade, clear apple cider vinegar (barrel aged Quebecois stuff).
3 lbs pitted, chopped peaches
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups sugar (I use organic)
3/4 cup good quality apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup dijon mustard
3 tbsp mustard powder (one that is a combination of yellow and spicy is fine)
2 tbsp brown mustard seeds
Combine all ingredients aside from the peaches in your canning or stock pot, bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar, then add peaches. With the mixture at a simmer, stir frequently for 20 minutes. As peaches begin to soften, mash them with a potato masher or back of your spoon to break up chunks, we want texture, not puree. Continue to cook until mostarda thickens, an additional 20-30 minutes.
While it is cooking, prepare your jars and lids. Bring your water to a boil in you canning pot.
Ladle into your prepared jars leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Place jars into simmering water and process for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool before checking for seal.
You can oven can this if that is your preferred method.
Up Next: All those Nectarines! I’m thinking Sweet and Sour ..