Well, here it is, the last Tigress’ Can Jam post of 2010. How the year has flown! It seems only yesterday that I was mulling citrus options, looking forward to hundreds of new recipes, and meeting all sorts of new friends. Before we dive into the details of this month’s ingredient, dried fruit (selected by the Tigress herself), let’s take a little walk down Memory Lane, shall we?
- Januray, citrus: Lime Curd for Water Bath Canning and Blackberry Lime Jam
- February, carrots: Apple Carrot Chile Chutney
- March, aliums: Pink Pickled Shallots, Roasted Garlic & Lemon Mustard and Strawberry Rhubarb & Carmelized Onion Jam
- April, herbs & flowers: Lemon Lavender Marmalade, Apple Cider
JellySyrup with Rosemary & Peppercorn, and Forsythia Syrup
- May, rhubarb: Strawberry Rhubarb Amaretto Sauce
- June, ‘erries: Black Cherry, Rhubarb & Red Wine Preserves
- July, cucurbits: Honeydew Melon Jam with Forsythia & Citrus, Cantaloupe & Blackberry Preserves with Chardonnay and Pattypan Pickles
- August, tomatoes: Roasted Tomato & Chipotle Salsa
- September, stone fruit: Nectarine, Pear & Chile Jam
- October, chiles: Charred Chile Barbecue Sauce and Apple Jalapeno Preserves
- November, pomes: Apple Quince Jelly with Vanilla Bean
- December, dried fruit: Raisin D’Être Mustard
Looking back, even I am surprised by the number and variety of recipes that were directly planned for, or inspired by, the Can Jam. Thank you, Tigress, for giving us a project to inspire, delight, and even agonize us the whole year long. Thank you for pulling together such a passionate, creative and fun group of canners & preservers: I’ve learned so much, made dozens of new friends and have bookmarked at least a hundred new recipes. And, most of all, thank you for the effort & time you take to pull together the wonderful Can Jam round-ups each month: a terrific resource for canners, preservers and foodniks alike.
Onward and upward to this month’s Can Jam entry: Raisin D’Être Mustard. Winter is the perfect time for mustard making: the pressure of summer preserving is past (I have a vivid memory of Tai & I peeling 40 lbs of about-to-rot peaches at midnight in the height of August), the weather is nippy, meaning more opportunities for mustard-glazed pork roasts and thick, hearty turkey sandwiches, and mustard is so easy that it is a pleasure to fire up the canner, warm up the kitchen, and experiment with your latest mustard idea. Mine is a beer mustard, using one of Tai’s favorite ales, Raison D’Être by Dogfish Head Brewery in (sort-of kind-of local) Delaware. Raison D’Être is a Belgian-style brown ale brewed with (you guessed it) raisins, making it the perfect accompaniment for a raisin-beer mustard and the perfect entry for this month’s Can Jam (it all comes back to the Can Jam in the end).
- 1 12-oz bottle of Dogfish Head Raison D’Être ale
- 3/4 cup (4 oz) seedless Thompson raisins
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
- 1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
- 1/4 cup malt vinegar (at least 5% acidity if canning)
- 1/2 cup water (optional)
- 2 tbsp dry mustard (ground yellow mustard seed)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground white pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- Add raisins and beer to a small bowl and allow to macerate at room temperature for 2 – 4 hours.
- Drain raisins and reserve in the refrigerator. Add mustard seeds to the steeped beer and allow to sit at room temperature until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 4 hours, or overnight.
- If canning, prepare canner, jars and lids.
- Add raisins and vinegar to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the raisins are nearly smooth; transfer to a medium saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and any remaining liquid to the food processor (add the water in this step, if you need it to help blend the mustard seeds). Chop until mustard is nearly smooth, with some seeds remaining for texture, about 5 minutes. Once the desired texture is reached, transfer mustard to the saucepan. Add dry mustard, sugar, salt and peppers to the saucepan and mix well.
- Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly (mustard will spit, and stick to the bottom of the pan, if not stirred), until mustard has reached the desired thickness (remembering that it will thicken upon cooling), about 10 – 20 minutes depending on how much water you add. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Fill hot, sterilized jars with hot mustard to 1/4-inch headspace. Tap jars on a folded dish towel to settle mustard into the jar, remove air bubbles, wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Yields about 2 and 1/2 cups.
- Penzeys is a great source for bulk mustard seed: I buy it by the pound, out of which I get 4 or 5 batches of mustard for less than $5. The 4 oz bag will yield just under 1 cup of seeds.
- I made a double-batch of this mustard: I started out with one bottle of beer, 5 oz of raisins, and 1/2 cup each of yellow & brown mustard seeds. Tai, upon tasting, first asked for more raisins, so I increased the amount to 8 oz total. Then he said that the beer flavor was subdued, so I added another bottle of beer and cooked the mustard down to a thick texture. So, about half of the beer and half of the raisins in this batch were macerated; but there seems no need to recreate that process.
- Raisins are safely acidic, so if you want a stronger raisin (and lighter beer) flavor, feel free to increase the amount of raisins.
Canned, in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year. Refrigerated, use within 2 months.
Year round (but I usually make mustards in the winter, when the preserving season is past).