Sour Cherry and Cranberry Mostarda

March 11, 2014
0 Ratings
Photo by AntoniaJames
  • Makes About 1 1/2 cups
Author Notes

Some might argue this isn’t a true “mostarda,” but then, it’s not really a chutney, and calling it simply a “mustard” would likely confuse people. In any event, like any condiment, this improves with at least a few days’ rest. Apart from the obvious uses – alongside grilled or roasted poultry or pork – this will perk up any cheese plate nicely. I like it over vanilla ice cream, too. My personal favorite, however, is to slather it on a sandwich, especially grilled cheese. Don't forget, this recipe can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled. It will keep well in the fridge for about 3 weeks. If you like grilled cheese made with something strong on good artisanal bread, you'll want a lot of this around, especially during the holidays. I do hope that you enjoy this. ;o) —AntoniaJames

What You'll Need
  • ½ cup dried sour cherries
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup yellow raisins
  • ½ cup grated apple
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons red wine (I use a Cotes du Rhone.)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard (Use one that was recently ground. My favorite I get from Oaktown Spice Shop.)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • Tiniest pinch of salt
  1. Put the dried fruit and apple in a small heavy saucepan with the bay leaf and 1 ½ cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and let cool. Put in a lidded container and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day – or 2 or 3 days later, if that’s more convenient – put the fruit into a small, non-reactive heavy saucepan. Turn the heat on to medium low.
  3. Mix the mustard with the wine and vinegar. Add to the saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more vinegar or mustard, or both, if you like. You could even add some sugar or maple syrup now, too, but if the cranberries and cherries you used were pre-sweetened, as all I've ever seen seem to be, that should not be necessary.
  4. This will taste better after resting a day or two, and even better in a week. Add the chopped fresh cranberries and the salt the day (or evening) before you plan to serve the mostarda. Refrigerate in a covered container. Give the mostarda a good stir 3-4 hours before serving, and then shortly before putting it into your prettiest serving dish.
  5. I do hope that you enjoy ithis. Yours affectionately, AntoniaJames. ;o)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Windischgirl
  • AntoniaJames

Recipe by: AntoniaJames

See problem, solve problem. Ask questions; question answers. Disrupt, with kindness, courtesy and respect. ;o)

2 Reviews

Windischgirl November 16, 2015
AJ, this is exactly what I am looking for! I seriously overbought dried cranberries, and I wanted to finish that packet of dried tart cherries as well. However, I don't think my fruit is sweetened; how much maple syrup (which I also have in abundance) do you recommend? And what's a good sub for the red wine vinegar?
AntoniaJames November 17, 2015
Windischgirl, I'd probably use brown sugar (I often do in mostardas) for its deeper flavor. But maple syrup! That's intriguing. I would start with 1/2 cup, given how mild even the good stuff is, when up against the bold, brash flavors at work here - especially the raw cranberries stirred in at the end. I'd probably add a whole apple, too, and not just a half.
Funny you should ask this, as I'm going to start mine this evening. I'm going to use a couple of very ripe pears instead of the apple. You know, I think I'm going to try adding maple syrup, too!
And a good sub for red wine vinegar - cider vinegar would be nice in this, as would white wine vinegar. You could also use lemon juice, but I'd dial it back, unless you're using Meyer lemons, which are sweeter. I wouldn't use red wine if using lemon juice. I'd just leave the wine out and add perhaps a touch of apple cider, or hard cider, or just water, too. This is full of flavor so the wine won't be missed.
Cheers. ;o)