How to make cider mustard
A PUNGENT cider mustard, redolent a little of apples and with a hint of spice, is the perfect accompaniment to our smoky ham. It'll go tremendously with a bacon sandwich, a roast rib eye of beef, some cheese on toast, or anything else you like mustard with.
Wholegrain apple cider mustard
Makes about 600 g
150g yellow mustard seeds
50g brown mustard seeds
1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
330ml (1 cup) apple cider
100ml apple cider vinegar
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 tbs honey.
METHOD: Wash and sterilise two 300ml jars (see tips below).
Soak the mustard seeds in 250ml of water overnight so they soften. Plonk them in a food processor with their soaking juices (most will have been absorbed) and add the turmeric, then blitz to make a rough paste. Most of the seeds won't break down so it will never be a smooth mustard, but the more you pulse and grind, the pastier it will become. Add a little of the cider as you go if it is too dry to blend. You can use a mortar for the mustard if you like. Heat the remaining apple cider with the vinegar, garlic and cinnamon and boil down to about half volume. Scoop out the garlic and cinnamon and add enough of the liquid to the mustard so that it reaches a thick consistency. Stir in the honey, to taste, transfer to sterile jars and store in a cool, dark place for at least a month before using. Once opened, store in the fridge.
In the age of refrigeration we've often forgotten how much mould and yeast thrive when left unchecked. You can preserve things through excluding oxygen (tight-fitting lids), introducing an acid (pickled foods), and by adding enough sugar or salt. But even then it's important to start with really clean implements, and to store things in sterilised jars with sterile lids. So wash your storing jars or containers really well before sterilising.
The Heat Method
Heat kills bugs, and bugs can cause your preserves to lose quality, or even go off. If you want to sterilise just one bottle, or a few jars, you can place them in a saucepan of cold water, on their sides, making sure they're full of water and submerged. Put their lids in there too. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
A good thing to note is that hot sauces and jams will crack a cold jar. This method allows you to have jars prewarmed ready for hot conserve. Dishwashers, with a hot rinse cycle, also sterilise jars. Be sure, when dealing with hot jars, not to put them on to a cold surface or they will crack.
Recipe and image from Not Just Jam by Matthew Evans (Murdoch Books) rrp $39.99. Available in all good bookstores and online.