Peach Mostarda

September 24, 2014(updated on August 30, 2021)

vertical peach mostarda

In my area, peach season is down to its final days for this year. I spotted a few left at the farmers market this morning and actually passed them by, but only because I am insane and picked up another half bushel over the weekend. I need to make a batch of salsa, and have several recipes for the new book to test, thus the purchase.

bowl of peaches

A couple weeks ago, just before I headed up to Toronto, I spent a full day canning. I had a ton of peaches and tomatoes, and knew that they wouldn’t last my weekend away. I made sauce, I canned whole peeled tomatoes, I made grape jam, and came up with this preserve.

Peach mostarda. Delicious with cheese. Recipe coming soon to a blog near you.

Mostardas are much like chutneys, in that they are both sweet and savory. However, instead of getting their savory nature from onions, garlic, or shallots, the sweetness is broken up with a conservative application of mustard oil and other sharp spices.

le parfait peach mostarda

Now, you should consider this a cheater’s mostarda. Because of US regulations, it is impossible to get the super-strong mustard oil with which true mostardas are made. However, the combination of mustard seeds and cayenne give this preserve a satisfying level of sinus clearing mustardiness.

I made this mostarda with Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog in mind, but it will also pair deliciously with crumbly aged cheddars and creamy, spreadable goat cheeses.

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Peach Mostarda

Servings: 8 -9 half pints


  • 5 pounds peaches
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon finely crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Prepare a boiling water bath canner, 9 half pint jars, new lids, and clean rings.
  • Cut peaches in half, remove pits, and peel. Cut halves into four wedges and dice each wedge into 3-4 pieces.
  • Place diced peaches in a low, wide pan and add sugar, apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds, red chili flakes, and cayenne pepper.
  • Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes at a rapid boil, until the peaches release their juice and the syrup thickens slightly.
  • Using a slotted spoon, portion the peaches out into prepared jars and top each off with syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Tap jars to remove air bubbles and add more syrup if needed.
  • You may not have as many as 9 half pints, but it's always nice to have more prepared rather than not enough.
  • Once jars are full, wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
  • When time is up, slide canning pot off the hot burner and remove lid. Let jars cool slowly in the canning pot for at least ten minutes before removing the jars from the pot.
  • Place the hot jars on a folded kitchen towel and let them cool.
  • Once jars are cool enough to handle, test seals by pressing down on the lids. If they are firm and without wiggle, the jars are sealed.

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54 thoughts on "Peach Mostarda"

  • FYI, lots of Indian grocery stores have mustard seed oil for sale. It’s definitely labeled “not for consumption” but it will be with the other cooking oils. I’ve used it safely before.

    1. It’s still not the super powerful mustard oil that traditional mostardas are made from (I know, I’ve tried it). In Italy, you buy your mustard oil from the pharmacy and you only need a few drops to infuse the fruit with that signature flavor.

  • Spicy peaches?? Yes, please! This WOULD be stunning with a sharp cheese, indeed! (and I’m crying on the inside that your giveaway is only open to U.S. residents…)

  • INteresting. I’ve never heard of mostarda before! But considering that I heart mustard in all its forms (except factory yellow), I am definitely up for a batch. πŸ™‚

  • Could I use honey in place of the sugar? I try to avoid white sugar when possible, but this sounds amazing, and I think I have over 20 pounds of peaches coming to me this weekend.

  • Oh my goodness those jars! Perfectly adorable. And I can’t wait to try this. I love recipes where all the ingredients exist in my kitchen.

  • Ah, you answered my question there at the end- I’ve been hoping i could find a recipe for the hard core mustard oil version and had begun to get the feeling that it was unavailable here. Bummer!

  • What beautiful mostarda! Why the specific direction to slide the canning pot off the burner at the end and wait 10 minutes before taking the jars out? I’ve never seen that direction before in a recipe. Does it have to do with the content of the preserve? the type of jar? Thanks!

  • I’m a big fan of any spicy fruity preserve with goat cheese – they just complement each other so well! My dad also used to eat a slice of apple pie with a sharp cheddar cheese, a habit I’ve picked up as well. Think maybe I’ll try an spiced apple butter with cheddar and see about that.

  • I would have a hard time choosing a favorite pairing. It’s such a good principle in general to pair preserves with dairy, skewing either sweet or savory.

  • Hi Marissa,
    I have a bottle of mustard oil that I purchased last winter. I was trying to duplicate pear mostarda that I got from Italy. I was unsuccessful- but your peach recipe looks great. Would you use mustard oil if you had it?

    And, if I may ask another question, David Lebovitz’s new book- My Paris Kitchen has a great looking recipe for shallot marmalade on page 335. It says to keep it in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Can it be canned?

    Here are the ingredients:

    2 T oil
    1 pound shallots, peeled and sliced
    pinch of salt
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    2 T honey
    1/3 cup cider vinegar
    1/3 cup raisins

    There are big fat fresh shallots at the farmstand right now, and I would love to make this and can it, but not if it isn’t safe…

    Thanks so much, Jan

    1. Honestly, this preserve is quite delicious just as it is. While I would like to someday get my hands on the mustard oil that is used for true mostarda, I wouldn’t change anything about this particular preserve.

      And David Lebovitz’s shallot marmalade does not have enough acid to be safely canned in a boiling water bath canner.

  • grilled feta cheese sandwich with tomato jam is a favorite cheese/jam paring. if i am in a rush (or lazy) straight from the refrigerator some goat cheese and tart cherry preserves. tart and sweet yum

  • So I made this the other day and it tastes great! Just wondering is it supposed to turn out thick or thin, mine turned out more like a sauce. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. If your peaches were really ripe, it would cook down into more of a sauce. Less ripe peaches lead to more of a chutney.

  • So, I made this at the end of the Summer and then brought it on vacation where I thought my pint sized jar would last the full two weeks we were there. Nope….2/3 of it was gone in the first use because it was amazing on a small bite of cheese. So, I decided to make it for Christmas gifts. However, I am having to use frozen peaches and they won’t be the same consistency so was thinking of using my immersion blender to make more of a spread. Do you think that would still work or should I go the route of a jam?

    1. I would keep the fruit in pieces. I would put the frozen peaches right into the pan with the vinegar syrup. They’ll defrost as it heats and you won’t have any discoloration.

      1. problem is that they are sliced, so I’d have to chop them and how to keep them frozen while doing so….hmmmm. Maybe I’ll just make a spicy jam :/

        1. You could just make a chunkier mostarda. Those slices will probably break down a bit in the syrup. It’s just the best way I can think of to get a good mostarda out of frozen peaches.

  • I made this and was so excited! after about 2 weeks, i opened a jar to eat with some cheese. The mostarda was extremely bitter….any ideas why?

    1. Perhaps your mustard seeds were old? I’m really not sure. I’ve made a number of mostardas over the years using this formula and none of have been bitter. So sorry!

  • Could I use white peaches for this recipe? I know they are one of the fruits that don’t always can safely. But I have a few that need to be used up and am getting more coming to me today. If white peaches aren’t good for this preserve, any suggestions would be welcome!

      1. Ooo yes that looks great and will be a perfect way to use my little asparagus steamer pot. I’m assuming the 8oz of honey is by weight since the peaches are by weight as well? If I were to double it, would you recommend bottled lemon juice to better control the acidity?Thank you!!

  • Hi Marisa,

    I’m excited to come across this and can hardly wait for August to come to make this!

    I am curious…. I also want to make this using some of the traditional fruit used… a Mixture of: Apples, pears, peaches, apricots, tangerines, oranges, plums, cherries, and/or cranberries.

    Can you tell me If any of those will change the acidity in the product to make it unsafe? And if so, what can I do to adjust the acidity of it? I’ve come across several recipes for Mostarda..ALL of them making quite a lot… though yours is the first one to be a canning recipe.
    Looking forward to your response.



    1. Any of the fruit you named would be safe to use. I don’t know what the quality of a mostarda made with oranges would be like, though.

      1. Hi Marisa,
        Well… I made it last week. I love the flavor and how it came out and got a lot of complements on it! Thank you for such an awesome recipe! Yaaaay!!

        OK.. I want to run something past you… I have since done some research on this.. specifically the mustard essence. I now know WHY they don’t allow it in the US..
        it is what Mustard Gas is made from.. ya know… the killer gas that was used in World War 2!! Very Potent stuff. Anyway… thru my research.. I found that you indeed CAN order some thru ebay… from India. I decided to buy some (20 ML) a small amount. It would either be nabbed at Customs… never to be seen by me… or it would arrive. lol I was a little paranoid that I’d have the CIA at my door. but I figured if that was the case.. they would have already researched my on-line presence to find I had done about 20 google searches for Mostarda recipes… and about 40 searches on how to can mostarda. πŸ˜‰
        Anyway… it did arrive!!.. and it was wrapped in about 20 layers of plastic wrap.
        Sooo.. here’s my quandry… from the research I have done on this.. people who have made it authentically.. and canned it.. said the heating process of canning it had ruined the chemical composition of the mustard essence, taking the sharp heat out of it completely. Bummer. I have noticed that any Italian videos of this being made.. is NOT hot water bath canned… only kept in a cool place. I’m not liking that idea and don’t trust it. I have also had the commercial variety.. I think the main company is called Sperlari?? Anyway.. when trying that.. it too only has a faint flavor of mustard. I know that traditionally made Mostarda is sweet-hot.. with the hot almost having a horseradish effect of cleaning out your nasal passageways.
        Sooo.. I’m trying to find a way to use this Mustard Essence and not ruin it’s heat by waterbath canning it. If I took your recipe.. or others similar… and instead of adding he mustard seed and hot pepper and canning it.. letting it cool down after cooking it and putting it in the jars.. to add 4-6 drops of the essence to the jars, add the tops and then freeze them.. almost like Freezer Jam. Do you think your recipe will work with that??

        1. Having never tried it, I just don’t know. But you could try it. If I had mustard oil, that’s probably what I would do. Just make sure to leave plenty of space for expansion if you freeze the jars.

          1. Great. Thanks for the reminder of a larger headspace.
            For anyone reading this.. and buying similar… it came in a heavy plastic bottle with no dropper.
            As cautioned by others from researching it… transfer carefully to a dark colored glass bottle with a dropper… and when you do… wear protective gloves… safety glasses… and a respirator. πŸ™‚

  • This looks like a wonderful recipe. But I am trying to can with low or no added sugar since my husband has been diagnosed as diabetic. Any idea if stevia can be substituted in canning recipes? Or perhaps cut the sugar in half?

  • I have a freezer full of this year’s peach harvest. I have them in 6 cup portions – each 6 cup portion is about 2.5 lbs (after being pitted & peeled) – but 12 cups of sliced peaches sounds like a whole lot. What would you do?

  • So I already chopped up my peaches, since I had a lot to deal with before they molded. About how many cups would you say 5lbs of peaches is?

  • I made the fig mostarda and want to make one with peaches, but I’m curious about the fruit ratio. For the fig it was 2.5 pounds but for peach it’s 5? But the rest of the amounts are the same as the fig. Is this because of the moisture in the peaches?

    1. Honestly, I developed those recipes at different times, and so they are different. I’m human and don’t always approach things in precisely the same way.