Halfway through, I’m officially declaring January the month of simple things. We’ve made tea, I have plans to share the most amazing, tangy cultured butter, and then there’s this mustard. Let me just say, telling people you made your own mustard? Ok, they may look at you crazy for a second, but then they’ll taste it and will be begging for a jar of their own.
This is quite literally a 4-ingredient recipe (5 if you want to add sugar or make honey mustard). Your best option for getting a good quantity of mustard seeds is to hit up a good spice shop (or order online from one if you don’t have one nearby). It’s also quite economical compared to what you would pay for a fancy whole grain mustard at the store!
On a different note–how do you celebrate your birthday? Big, festive blowout? Something low key? Where do you fall on the question of making your own cake? Personally I love low-key and making my own cake–time to actually talk with the people who are important to me, and I know exactly the kind of cake I want and how I want it. I had grand plans to share the most amazing cake with you, with chocolate and red wine and marscapone cheese and…yeah, it’s as good as it sounds. But I also enjoy being kind of lazy on my birthday, so I didn’t actually get around to it–sorry to get your hopes up! Soon, I promise.
Hard Cider Mustard
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, this is a great recipe to play around with the flavors. Use a different vinegar (I’m planning to try red wine vinegar soon, and imagine malt or champagne vinegar would also be interesting), or try another liquid to replace the cider (apple juice for a non-alcoholic version, but I’m also curious to try a dark beer or even something like bourbon). As long as you maintain the proportion of liquid to mustard seeds (2 parts vinegar, 2 parts mustard seeds, 1 part additional liquid), the possibilities are completely up to you.
This amount makes a full quart, which makes plenty to give as gifts, but is easy to scale up or down as you like, keeping in mind the proportions of liquid to seeds.
1 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup hard cider
1 1/3 cup mustard seeds (I like 50/50 yellow and brown)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1-2 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
Honey (optional, for honey mustard)
In a large bowl or jar (a wide mouth quart jar works perfectly) combine the first three ingredients. Cover and set aside at least 24 hours.
The next day, the mustard seeds will have absorbed most of the liquid. Add sugar and salt and blend in a blender or food processor until creamy, 1-2 minutes.
If you taste the mustard at this point, it will be quite vinegar-y and sharp; for the best flavor, cover the jar again and let set at room temperature for another 24-72 hours. When the flavor is what you like, refrigerate the mustard and use within 3 months.
If you want to turn this into honey mustard, simply stir in honey to taste before refrigerating.