I made mustard from scratch! And if you don’t mind me being too pushy, I think you should give it a go too. Not only is the process outrageously easy, but the results are superior to grocery store finds. Plus, the reaction that I’ve received from friends and family when I tell them I’m making mustard has been pure awe. It’s always nice to feel like a champ in the kitchen, especially when the effort is so minimal.
A fabulous article written by Noelle Carter, the Los Angeles Times‘ resident test kitchen manager, inspired my mustard making. The way she described the method made it sound so simple and doable:
Essentially, mustard is nothing more than a combination of seeds and liquid. Soak seeds in the fluid of your choice (water, vinegar, perhaps a double bock beer) until they’re all softened and happy, flavor the mix as desired, then grind the seeds and, voilà, homemade mustard.
The first mustard that I decided to tackle called for hard apple cider, Granny Smiths, and a combination of black and brown mustard seeds. After soaking the seeds overnight in a zingy combination of cider and vinegar, I pulsed the mixture into a chunky puree along with a fresh green apple.
The end product had definite character—the black mustard seeds, with their high concentration of sinigrin, brought a distinct burn in the back of the mouth, throat, and nose, while the tart fruit and vinegar rounded out the mustard’s sharp angles.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been slathering the condiment on everything from pretzels to Brie cheese, and using it in salad dressings and various recipes. Best of all, I’ve been sharing my creation with fellow mustard lovers on a BYOJ (bring your own jar) basis. Mustard has a way of bringing flavors and people together.
- About ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons (2½ ounces) brown mustard seeds
- Scant ¼ cup (1¼ ounces) black mustard seeds
- About ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (1¼ ounces) mustard powder
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup flat hard apple cider
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 Granny Smith or similar tart apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped (I used a food processor)
Soak the mustard seeds: Place the mustard seeds and powder in a medium glass or ceramic bowl along with the cider vinegar and hard cider. Set aside, covered (but not sealed airtight), for 24 hours.
Place the mixture in a food processor along with the salt and sugar, and process for 1 to 2 minutes until the seeds are coarsely ground. Add the chopped apple and pulse a few times to incorporate. This makes about 1 2/3 cups mustard.
The mustard will be very pungent at first. Cover and refrigerate for a few days (or to taste) before using.
Makes about 1 2/3 cups mustard.
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