Apple Mostarda

March 11, 2014

Author Notes: Ever since Elizabeth Rex posted her recipe for Orange-Fennel Mostarda (which I love), I've been wanting to try my hand at a mostarda. Since apple pairs well with pork and pork plays nicely with mustard, I ended up with this. My favorite part is the lemon, which adds an unexpected sweet fragrant bite. A note about the grappa: I used grappa because I had it on hand but since there is such a small quantity, please do not go out and buy a bottle just for this. Use any heady apple friendly spirit you have on hand, or omit entirely. gingerroot

Makes: about 2 cups


  • 1 lemon, preferably organic, washed and dried
  • 2 Fuji apples
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsulphured raisins (I used Thompson)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons grappa (can substitute brandy, apple brandy, cognac or omit)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In This Recipe


  1. With a vegetable peeler, remove long (end to end) strips of lemon peel, being careful not to get any pith. Continue around the whole lemon. I had eight strips. Stack strips and thinly cut crosswise (toothpick width). You should have about ¼ cup.
  2. Peel and core apples. Finely chop into uniform pieces about 1/4”. You should have a little more than 2 cups. Place in a glass bowl; add lemon pieces, sugar and vinegar. Stir to combine.
  3. In a 1 cup pyrex measure heat ¼ cup water in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Add raisins and grappa. Stir to combine and set aside.
  4. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, temper mustard seeds by heating oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cook for about a minute. Seeds should sputter a bit. Scrape in apple mixture, raisin mixture and shallots. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add Dijon mustard and butter and cook for 10 minutes more. Let mostarda cool a bit before enjoying or transferring to a clean glass jar with a lid. Enjoy warm or at room temperature with cheese and bread, or grilled or roasted meats. Mostarda should keep for a week in the refrigerator.

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