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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.