Homemade apple brandy mustard

August 17, 2010

Mustard. I love the stuff. Especially because it goes so brilliantly with charcuterie. I had never given one second of a thought however to making the stuff, until last week.

I was sitting around, eating some rillette and salad, and thought “some bloody lovely mustard would go so nicely with this”, and opened the fridge. You can imagine the utmost horror when I realized I was out of Dijon (mustard of choice in my household). I had used the last of it to make the salad vinaigrette I had happily poured over the leafy greens on my plate not moments before.

So I got thinking about making mustard. This of course was no help for my current and rather exasperating problem of having no mustard in the house, however it did take my mind of this disaster of international proportions long enough for me to finish enjoying my lunch.

I started to research about making mustard. I love that research now means opening up Google, rather than dragging myself down to the local library, risking the chance of getting some exercise. After a few short minutes of Googling I start giggling. Manly giggles of course, not silly high-school girl giggles. It turns out that making mustard looks fantastically easy. Obscenely so.

Now, when I think of artisan mustard, I always have this picture of old monk’s sitting around, most likely chanting some baroque tune, grinding mustard seed between two stones that have been there for centuries (the stones, and the monks..). Brother Leodak IV leans over and pours in some vinegar which they make alongside their wine. More chanting happens, more grinding, more vinegar. Another monk, most likely a young whipper-snapper decides to try and get everyone tipsy and throws in some brandy too, which they just happen to have sitting around, because you know, all Monks are total drunks.

And.. taaadaaa artisan brandy mustard is born.  Somehow (and I don’t like to think about this commercial part) this huge amount of Monk effort gets bottled up, and sold at my local store of choice.

Funnily enough, that is exactly how I made this mustard that you see before you. Without the monks, baroque tunes, and grinding stones of course..

I started to make the mustard, and thought some additional flavor in there would be lovely. As always my first glance is over to the liquor cabinet, and sitting there before my eyes is a bottle of apple brandy. This immediately seemed right, since I often pair mustard with pork and we all know how well apples go with pork. The rest, as they say is history, and a little bit of fire. I decided to burn off the alcohol from the brandy first, or quite a lot of it anyhow. I didn’t want that sharp boozy taste, but something more mellow. I also got to set something on fire, which I thought would be manly enough to counteract the giggling that went on earlier..

This mustard recipe has a kick. Both the mustard and brandy make it pretty heady stuff. I could certainly add more water and vinegar to it, since it is a pretty thick emulsion, and most likely will do so on a need-for-need basis.

Apple brandy mustard recipe:

NOTES: Dark mustard seed is much hotter than regular yellow seed. Use with caution! Most recipes call for soaking the seeds in the vinegar and water for 24 hours before making. This softens the seeds, makes them easier to grind. I was impatient and didn’t do this step – feel free to try doing it first if you wish! just let me know how it turns out will ya?

1/2 cup of mustard seed – mostly yellow, with about 1 tablespoon of dark in there

1/2 cup of vinegar of choice – I used apple cider

1/4 to 1/2 cup of water

1/8 cup of apple brandy

2 tablespoons of honey

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric (for color)

Put the brandy in a small flameproof container. Heat over a flame until it catches on fire. Let it burn for a while, to get rid of some of the alcohol. 3 minutes say.

Put the mustard seed, vinegar, water, honey and turmeric in a blender, and blitz it. You will most likely need to scrape down the sides reasonably often. If the mustard is too thick for your taste, add a little more vinegar and water. Blend until smooth but still with some texture.

Pour in a tablespoon of brandy, blitz, and taste. See how you like it. If you can taste the brandy, leave it there. Add more if you wish however.

This mustard improves a lot (read: mellow’s out) if left in the fridge to age for a few days. When it comes to serving, depending on application I thin it with a little more water and vinegar.

  • caitlindentino August 17, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I think mustard may be the perfect idea for some fall gifts for friends. Thanks Matt – who knew it was so easy??

  • Alan August 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Love mustard. Can’t get away with out it. I have never tried this and will be checking
    it out soon. Thanks for all the tips.

  • carter @ the kitchenette August 17, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    In the past few years I went from not liking mustard at all to eating mustard ON EVERY SINGLE THING I EAT. Including, but not limited to, cheese, sandwiches, and pieces of apple. Naturally the next step was to try making mustard on my own. Duh.

    Only problem is, I don’t have a gas stove. I’ll have to do some “research” (read: I’ll have to Google it for 5 minutes) as to how I might be able to light the brandy without an open flame from a gas stove. It would be awful to burn off my eyebrows because I guessed and used a match, all for the sake of some delicious spiked mustard… or would it?

  • dan August 17, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    been there, done that. it gets better if you leave it on the kitchen top for a few days, even a week, before you put it in the fridge. it won’t get spoiled, mustard is a preservative.

  • Joan Nova August 17, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Creatie and beautiful.

  • G. August 17, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    we make homemade guinness mustard at our house and it’s bold and spicy! love your take on it and the photos, as always – killer!!

  • Elizabeth August 17, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Ah, you, like my husband, do not write things down when they are used up. Sadly this has cost me many nights without my trusty Dijon *shudder*.

    But lovely mustard! Gorgeous really…I had my hand at this a few months back making my own mustard for some pretzels I baked for my own baby shower (how gauche I know), but it was really hot! This looks much more “artisan” than mine turned out to be, but I did have to agree about the mellowing out. At first mine tasted horrible! But then it was delicious after only a day!

  • nina August 18, 2010 at 3:13 am

    This must be the perfect match for your charcuterie meats….

  • Forme of Cury August 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I’ve been meaning to try making my own mustard. Throw in apples and brandy and, yes, I’m yours.


  • kitchenbeard August 21, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Ah – perfect. Finding myself unemployed and wanting to stretch my food expense as far as possible, I’vebegun making my own condiments. Ketchup and mayo are quite easy and my next step was to try mustard. Thanks for the kick in the behind to do this.

  • gale reeves August 22, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Your post has inspired me to make mustard. And, I love the fire pictures.

  • AB August 26, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    This looks amazing. I’ve never made mustard before, but I might have to try now. Wonderful pictures!

  • zenchef August 31, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Dude, you’re a madman. And i love you for it!
    That’s just great. And the photography is just wow.
    There’s too much awesomeness on this blog. I can’t take it!

  • Yue Edwards September 6, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Your photos are consistently alluring. I like the simplicity of your composition. Where did you get the white tabletop, i want one so much.

  • mattwright September 6, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Yue – the white tabletop was actually really simple! It is a few cedar planks nailed together, and roughly painted white. We had a deck remodel last year, and got the contractor to save me a bunch of the cedar from the deck. I stained one dark wood, left another the paint color that the deck was (grey/blue/green), and painted some more white.

  • Paula September 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    that`s really great idea!

  • Nancy@acommunaltable September 9, 2010 at 1:41 am

    I honestly can taste this mustard – and I am so glad I saw this post. Was in Ireland this summer and picked up some Dalkey Mustard and am now addicted and so since I can’t get it here in the U.S. thought I’d try making my own so will use your recipe as a starting point!!

    Your “tabletop” is wonderful – I have been using some thin (1/4) plywood pieces – some I’ve stained and others I’ve drybrushed – cheap and easy to store!!!

  • Melissa Darr September 16, 2010 at 4:16 am

    Will this mustard last for a while??? Sounds yum

  • Brooke October 10, 2010 at 7:10 am

    I have been wanting to make my own mustard, and had been hoping it would be an easy task. I love the idea of adding apple brandy. I am in France at the moment and surrounded by all manner of delicious mustard that I now don’t have to schlep back because I know I will make my own with this recipe when I return!

  • lauriebot March 11, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I am making this. Today.