Seems like it’s been All Mustard All the Time around here lately, but I have had all of these interesting mustard ideas floating around in my head and I want to try to them out before they disappear. And yes, I do realize that it’s more than a bit strange to be obsessing over mustard flavors when, a) I don’t like mustard and, b) I don’t eat mustard. But other people do, including my mustardophile husband, and a pretty little jar of mustard makes a nice hostess gift at the holidays.
I’m not sure where the idea for Fig and Port mustard came from; figs and port are a classic combination, usually as a marinade or sauce for roasted pork tenderloin, so I probably saw a recipe on some blog or other. I didn’t have any port in the house, but I did have a half-bottle of sweet white dessert wine, a gift from a long-ago Christmas party, that has been “aging” (or languishing, ignored, since I don’t really like dessert wines and especially not white dessert wines) in my cupboard for the better part of a decade. What better use for a dessert wine that I’ll never drink than to put it in mustard that I’ll never eat? Brilliant! Tai tasted the dessert wine, Le Vin de D’Artagnan ’97, a Cotes de Gascogne wine made from 100% Gros Manseng grapes, and declared it yummy and much like a young tawny port. Macerating the figs in the wine gave it even more sweetness, a deep port-like color and a bit of a syrupy consistency – it also smelled heavenly and I was tempted to use it in something that I would eat. But I perservered, and if Tai is to be believed, this “may be my best mustard yet.”
Given the amount of vinegar in this recipe, I am assuming that the mustard is acidic enough to be safely canned at home in a boiling water bath; however, since this recipe is untested, and I do not have a pH meter with which to accurately confirm the acidity, I will take the conservative approach and store my canned mustard in the refrigerator. If anyone out there has a reliable recipe for home-canning a fig mustard, please share the details in comments.
Propotions and acid level estimated from Lemon-Sage Wine Mustard and Heavenly Fig Jam in The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, eds J. Kingry and L. Devine
Mission Fig and Port Wine Mustard
- 3/4 cup tawny port or sweet white dessert wine, plus extra for adjustments
- 6 oz (a generous cup) dried Mission figs
- 3/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
- 1 cup champagne vinegar
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp local honey
- 1 tbsp dry mustard
- dash or two of Tabasco (optional)
- Add figs and wine to a small bowl (wine should just cover the figs, if not, add more wine until all figs are covered) and allow to macerate at room temperature for 2 – 4 hours. Wine should take on a deep mahoghany color and smell deliciously of fig.
- Drain figs and reserve in the refrigerator. Add mustard seeds to the wine and allow to sit at room temperature until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 4 hours or overnight.
- If canning, prepare canner, jars and lids. (See Options for notes about canning).
- Add figs and about 1/3 cup of the vinegar to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the figs are nearly smooth; transfer to a small bowl. Add the mustard seeds and remaining vinegar to the food processor (do this in batches if, like me, you only have a small processor). Chop until mustard is nearly smooth, with some seeds remaining for texture (about 5 minutes). Once the desired texture is reached, start adding back in the figs, through the feed tube, as well as the water, to keep the mixture flowing. Add salt and process until well mixed. Transfer mustard to a medium saucepan.
- Add honey to mustard, mix well, and cook over medium to medium-low heat until flavors are blended and mustard has reached the desired consistency (about 5 – 10 minutes). Taste and adjust seasonings, adding the optional Tabasco if needed. Add more wine or water as necessary to achieve the desired texture, or if the tasting/adjusting takes longer than the reducing (I added about another 1/4 cup of wine while cooking).
- Fill hot, sterilized jars with hot mustard to 1/4-inch headspace. Mix thoroughly to remove air bubbles, wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Yields about 2 cups.
- I’m reasonably confident, based on the proportions of fig, mustard seed and vinegar, that this mustard is acidic enough to be safe to home can in a boiling water bath. However, this is a completely new recipe, and I was unable to find any recipe online for canned fig mustard; so while I did sterilize, fill and process jars, I will store these in the fridge, just to be on the safe side.
- Ruby port and red wine vinegar would be another good combination. Brown mustard seeds may work better with the heartier flavors, although they will not show up as well against the brown of the fig.
I suggest storing refrigerated as I do not have a pH meter and cannot guarantee that this mustard is safe for home canning in a boiling water bath. Canned, it should last up to 6 months in the refrigerator. Uncanned, use within 2 months.