Kim Boyce’s Ginger Peach Muffins, lightened up

To start things out, I’ll admit that I can be a bit repetitive.

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (6 of 8)

First, you’re right that I have made ginger peach muffins before (even if I didn’t report about it on this blog).  My co-worker certainly remembers this:  when I brought the muffins in this post into work to share,  she asked, “are these the ones from the blog that are really cupcakes?”  They aren’t–and I like to think these muffins I am about to tell you about are a lot healthier, and just as delicious.

Secondly, you’re also right that I’ve been caught enthusing about Kim Boyce in this space.  Enough that the last time that Molly was over and looking to borrow some cookbooks she said “I know you won’t lend me this one as you’re always using it.”  She was right.

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (1 of 8)

A few weeks ago, when Marie was visiting with new baby M, I bought a few peaches at the grocery store.  Some were nearly ripe, others still unappealingly green and firm around the pit.  I was roasting some eggplant and threw these in the oven at the same time, each half with a pat of butter in the hollowed out pit, and with a light drizzling of honey.  (I threw in some apricots that were about to go for good measure).  A perfectly ripe peach may be impossible to improve on, but a roasted peach, caramelized around the edges and lusciously soft in the center, comes close. It also perks up the less ideal specimens, which let’s face it, is often what you get at the grocery store (or if you just can’t be patient enough to let them fully ripen).

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (3 of 8)

When Molly asked me the next day for some ideas for oat flour–her email started out, “Hey Quirky Flour Lady”–I was reminded of this recipe.  (I’m sure Molly was not shocked to have me bring up Kim Boyce again.  Since the exchange was over email, maybe she even shook her head a little).

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (4 of 8)

I don’t know what Molly’s made with her oat flour, but I immediately knew what I was doing with the leftover roast peaches, despite the fact that in the same email exchange I told Molly that I had declared a muffin moratorium due to my sons’ messes while eating them.    Not a lot of willpower there on my part.

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (2 of 8)

I’m evidently the Quirky Flour Lady, so I already had the oat flour, but if you don’t, you can also made it quite easily by running oatmeal through the food processor.  In fact, I had all the ingredients in hand except for the sour cream, but I had another acidic dairy product in my fridge:  low-fat kefir.  Suddenly I realized (due to no virtuous impulse on my part, but rather luck) that these were going to be a “lightened up” version of the recipe in Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours:  roasted peaches rather than peach slices sautéed in butter, low-fat kefir instead of sour cream.

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (5 of 8)

As you can see, they turned out perfectly.  Kefir, I’ve noticed, seems to produce an exceptionally lofty rise in baked goods (though I’d happily have used buttermilk or yogurt as well), and the blackened edges of my roasted peaches nestled in the crumb ensured my muffins were as pretty as they were delicious.

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (8 of 8)

Kim Boyce’s Ginger Peach Muffins, lightened up
Author: adapted from Kim Boyce’s [url href=”Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours “]Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours[/url]
Ingredients
  • For the Roast Peaches
  • 2 ripe but firm peaches peaches, ripe, but firm
  • 1 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 T. honey
  • Dry mix:
  • 1 c. oat flour
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. kosher salt
  • Wet mix:
  • 3 oz (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, then cooled slightly (just melt the butter first, and let it sit while you do everything else)
  • 3/4 c. whole or 2% milk
  • 1/2 c. plain kefir (substitute buttermilk or plain yogurt)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T. finely chopped crystallized ginger
Instructions
Make the roast peaches
  1. Preheat the oven to 425. Slice the peaches in half around the equator and remove the pits. Line a rimmed (preferably) baking sheet with parchment paper (this will substantially speed cleanup). Place the peaches, cut side up on the baking sheet and divide the butter between the hollows of each half. Drizzle lightly with honey (but remember that the oven will bring out the peaches’ sweetness). Roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Remove, and when cool enough to handle, slice each half lengthwise into 6 slices.
Make the muffins
  1. Reduce the heat of the oven to 350. Rub your muffin tins with butter or line with muffin cups.
  2. Stir the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Stir the wet ingredient together in another bowl, and add these to the bowl along with the chopped candied ginger and stir together gently until combined. The batter will still be lumpy. This is ok.
  4. Scoop the batter into 11 muffin tins using a spoon or ice cream scoop. The batter should be slightly mounded over the edges. Lay a couple of peach slices over each muffin, nestling them gently into the batter.
  5. Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The muffins are ready when the they smell nutty and are golden. Take the tin out of the oven and as soon as you are able, twist the muffins and lay them to cool on their sides in the tin. This allows the muffins to cool without getting soggy.

 

 

 

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Blue Chair Jam’s Seville Orange Marmalade with Muscovado

As we sit here buried under two feet of snow (and counting), I think it’s just the right time to talk about oranges.  (After all, how can my thoughts help but escape to Florida right now?)

The thing is I made this marmalade a few months ago, in fact.  I found out that one of my new favorite online stores, the Florida Orange Shop, sells Seville Oranges which are well-known but hard to find (like so many other fruits I struggle to get my hands on).  When I ended up ordering the smallest package, 3/16 a bushel, however, I had more than I knew what to do with.

Seville Blood Orange Marmalade with Muscovado (4 of 4)

With such precious raw materials, I had to turn to the The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook.  If you’ve ever seen this book, you can’t help but be drawn in by the saturated colors of a seemingly magical world of fruit.  But the recipes too are captivating–elegant, sophisticated, every step carefully thought out to bring out the best possible results.  I was recently lucky enough to take a class with the author and founder, Rachel Saunders, and even with all the jam I’ve made I learned so much–but it only whet my appetite (so to speak!) and I didn’t hesitate to sign up for her upcoming marmalade class  in March.  It goes without saying that I can hardly wait.

The marmalades generally take 3 days or so to make–which before you balk actually makes the process all the better.  You can do all the work of chopping and seeding and slicing and squeezing one day and then put it aside.  The second day you boil and set aside again, and only on the third day do you actually make the preserves.  This makes it less of a Herculean undertaking and more of a manageable process that can even be done on a weeknight.

It’s not about convenience though, but about making a beautiful product.  Unlike other marmalades I’ve made, the jelly is clear and translucent (rather than opaque and gelatinous) and the suspended pieces of fruit are like candied jewels.  About half the fruit is quartered and used for its juice alone and discarded, while only the other half actually makes its way into the preserve.  I was initially aghast at throwing away so many peels unused (I mean, I did special order these!) but when I ended up with such beautiful results and 13 jars, I saw no reason to complain.

Seville Blood Orange Marmalade with Muscovado (1 of 4)

As for the flavor:  there’s no exaggeration in the fact that these are called bitter oranges.  If you’ve never had marmalade before it’s a bit shocking (and even if you have).  But it grows on you–with vanilla and muscovado sugar, its flavor is as elegant and complex as its rich burgundy hue.

I apologize for not providing the recipe here, but I can at least tell you where to get Seville oranges–which should be in season through the remainder of the month.

Note that the methodology used in the The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook for processing jars is not the USDA specified method.  I was nervous about this so I processed the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Seville Blood Orange Marmalade with Muscovado (2 of 4)

I’ll be slathering this on warm toast as I watch the growing mountains of white snow out the window.  Stay warm!

Vacation Blueberry Pie

Cooking in an unfamiliar kitchen is always a bit of an adventure.  You never know what you’re going to find, what “obvious essentials” will be glaringly absent, what will need to be improvised, and whether you’ll rise to the occasion.

Vacation Blueberry Pie (10 of 12)

Last week, our family all rented a house together in Cape Cod.  And I should say extended family–not just us three sisters and our parents but various generations of in-laws and of course my two sons to lap up all the attention.  While we made sure to eat plenty of fried seafood, ice cream, and pizza, we also made use of the kitchen, which came fully stocked with all sorts of pantry items of varying age (how old exactly were the three 16 ounce jars of ground nutmeg?) and provenance.  And because the rule of the house was that anything you use up has to be replaced by the end of your stay, lots of boxes were nearly–but not quite–emptied.  It’s always the technicalities isn’t it?

Vacation Blueberry Pie (3 of 12)

Since we had a full house, though, we were going to the grocery store seemingly every day.  And with so many people to feed, in summer, I decided I had to make a pie.  But here’s that part about the trickiness of baking in someone else’s kitchen.  There was no pie plate to be found.  Nor a rolling pin.  And I hardly have to tell you that lacking those two items, there was no pastry cutter.

Vacation Blueberry Pie (4 of 12)

Vacation Blueberry Pie (6 of 12)

But this is a happy tale of staring down hardships and succeeding, not a mournful tale of a dessert that never came to be.  After all, adversity is the mother of invention.

Vacation Blueberry Pie (8 of 12)

Vacation Blueberry Pie (7 of 12)

As for the first obstacle–the missing vessel–a 9 X 13 casserole dish proved to be more than a perfect substitute.  More than perfect since its roomier size meant more pie for all–hardly a tragedy.  I used 1 1/2 times my normal pie dough recipe which yielded a generous amount of crust.  And that dough was made by the most low-tech method of all, simply rubbing the butter into the flour:  a technique I have a newfound confidence in, thanks to this video.

Vacation Blueberry Pie (5 of 12)

Finally, the best kitchen hack, and one which proves that good wine always saves the day.  A wine bottle (we had a few in the fridge) made a fine stand-in for a rolling pin, with its naturally cool surface, heft, and smooth cylindrical shape.  It was easy to maneuver, despite its missing “handle” on one end, and while I feared sloshing alcohol would be distracting to my work, a full bottle turned out to glide right along the surface.  The label left a slight indentation in the rolled-out dough, but for me the additional evidence of my weapon of choice was charming rather than frustrating.  I wouldn’t, however, recommend using a fine vintage for this, if you’re one of those people who saves the labels in a wine diary–things got a bit messy.  All in all, I was pretty excited about this whole process.  I’ll be using a rolling pin when available but freely admit that I’ll be patting myself on the back about this one for a while.  Who cares if I can’t claim to have invented the idea?  Note that I’ve added extra tips on the rolling out process–applicable to whatever tool you’re using–in the recipe itself.

Vacation Blueberry Pie (2 of 12)

I subbed in limes for lemons, as I like to do–its zing pairs nicely with blueberries, and we had plenty on hand for gin and tonics anyway.  Brown sugar had been purchased for cookies and was used instead of the pantry’s remaining scrapings of white sugar.  After all, we wouldn’t want to have to replace it now, would we?

Vacation Blueberry Pie (1 of 2)

Bright afternoon sun, sea air only steps away and fresh blueberry pie passed around a large table.  And a bit of adventure (broadly defined). Can’t get more summer than that.

Vacation Blueberry Pie (2 of 2)

Vacation Blueberry Pie

Note:  These measurements are for a 9 X 13 casserole dish. If  you’re in a more fully stocked kitchen and want to use a regular pie plate, use 6 cups of blueberries, and reduce the sugar (so long as you want to keep it on the less sweet side, as I do).

Pie Crust 
  • 3 3/4c flour
  • 4 1/2 t sugar
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces, or 1 1/2 cups) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 3/4 to 1c ice cold water (put a cup of the coldest water you have in the fridge with ice in it for at least 15 minutes).

Pie Filling

  • 8c blueberries (4 pint packages)
  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/4c corn starch
  • 1 lime (zest and juice)

Note that there is chilling time in this recipe, so make sure to factor this into your plans.  This need not be a nuisance–you can make the crust a day (or a few) ahead so that you need only roll it out, fill it, and bake it the day you want to serve it.

Make the pie crust.  Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together.  Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it is pebbly with pea size chunks, and clumps together when you grasp it.  (See my post here for full instructions, or alternately rub the butter into the flour as I described earlier in this post).  Dribble in the cold water and stir with a spatula until it forms a rough ball.  Only add as much water as is necessary to form the ball–it may be less than the recipe calls for and will depend on the humidity in your kitchen.

Dump onto a clean surface and flatten the dough into a rough square.  Cut it in half, with one half slightly larger than the other.  (This happens to me without even trying, of course!)  Wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour.

Take the larger piece of dough out of the refrigerator and unwrap.  Place on a well-floured surface, then flip it over.  This is easier than flouring your rolling pin, though technically it’s better to flour the pin.  I like to make fingerprint indentations around the perimiter of the dough to help soften the edges–this seems to help prevent cracking.  Note that although the name of the game in pastry is cold, cold, cold, I do find that if the dough is TOO cold it’s almost impossible to roll–though no one ever seems to admit this.  You can whack it a bit with your rolling pin to soften it or just give it a few minutes to soften slightly on its own before proceeding.

Roll the dough out into a large rectangle.  Trim it so that it measures 13 inches by 17 inches.  Fold in half, and then in half again, and transfer to the casserole dish.   Chill for a half hour.

In the meantime, make the filling–stir together the berries, sugar, cornstarch, zest, and juice and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 425F.

Remove the second piece of dough from the refrigerator, and roll into a rectangle trimmed to measure about 11 inches by 15 inches.  Remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator, fill with the berries, and transfer the second piece of dough on top.  Pat it down gently over the filling, and crimp the edges together with the lower layer of crust.  (Crimp with your fingers by holding your thumb and pointer finger together on one side of the joined pieces of dough, while using your other pointer finger to push the dough into those two fingers–I think of it like making little triangles).  Trim any excess dough, cut slits in the top to let steam escape, and slide onto a cookie sheet to catch any spills in the oven.

Place the dish on the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for about an hour or until the juices are bubbling and thick and the crust is nicely browned.  After 45 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Vacation Blueberry Pie (9 of 12)

Aide-Memoire: Learning To Measure Teaspoons and Tablespoons by Sight

Teaspoons and Tablespoons Chart

I used to wonder at the TV chefs that seemed to breeze through their shows without measuring anything.  A quarter cup of olive oil?  Just a few glugs.  A teaspoon of cinnamon?  Measured out casually into the hand.  Salt, always cast in from a dramatic height.  I figured this was just to make the show flow more smoothly.  And perhaps that’s true, but as explained in the Julia Child DVDs my mom gave me for Christmas a few years ago, it’s worth learning to measure teaspoons and tablespoons by sight.  If you can internalize what a teaspoon or tablespoon looks like in the crook of your hand, you can zip through your recipes without having to rattle around in your drawers for your measuring spoon set.  (And you know how that goes:  you find them, then realize the size you’re looking for has fallen off the ring, and then you can’t get it in the mouth of your spice jar, and then it’s one more fiddly thing to wash, so really, it’s just a lot easier to try to master this trick.

I say “try” to master because I’m still working on it myself.  I can never quite believe that a teaspoon, let alone a tablespoon, can take up so much space in the hollow of my hand, result being that I inevitably underseason things.  So (with my newly acquired Photoshop Elements software) I decided to make this little graphic to help myself as much as anyone else.  And if you’re wondering who the lovely hand belongs to, I should note that Karen kindly modeled, so a round of thanks to her too.  Perhaps will do the trick for me, and for you as well.

And now to announce the winner of our Buitoni giveaway:  Jan, comment #18.  Congratulations!  I’ll be contacting you to get you the gift package.

Strawberry Jam with Natural Fruit Pectin

If you get too deep into something, whatever it is, people seem to need to divide themselves into camps. Even canners have their factions. (Yes, really). When I first started reading up on canning a few years ago, a New York Times article noted that certain canners eschewed store-bought pectin.  They craft their jam either by cooking down the preserves until the gel point is reached, or by making their own pectin. Considering the sum of my knowledge on pectin was that it was a “white powder” that is added to boiling fruit, I had a hard time conceiving of how on earth these folks were making their own.  And, I’ll admit, it seemed a little die-hard.

20120622-081414.jpg

Pectin it turns out, is just a natural compound in fruit that, reacting with sugar, acid, and heat, allows jam to set and jelly to jell (otherwise, you’d get syrup). Some fruits have more than others, with green apples and citrus being particularly high. You can cook down (most) fruits until they jell on their own–this is a long process as the water slowly evaporates–or you can use pectin to speed things up.

After agonizing philosophical inquiry I’ve decided that I have no metaphysical  qualms about using store-bought pectin, but even so, I hardly use it.  Rather than principles it’s due to practicality:  I hardly ever manage to find powder pectin, and liquid pectin even less in our local stores.  And I just never get around to ordering online, which is odd given how much I do order online (cough cough).  I will note that there is one reason I do like avoiding store-bought pectin, which is the amount of sugar required (although low-sugar pectins are available).  Jam making tends to require horrifying amounts of the stuff.

I’ve been mainly making those slow-cooked jams which are delicious but time consuming to make.  And I guess I’ve turned the canning geek corner, because for some reason I got excited about a recipe in my Ball cookbook using a homemade “applesauce” as pectin.  So here we are.

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And…I loved making this recipe!  The novelty of using applesauce to set the jam makes it fun, and one definitely get DIY props for doing it this way.  And while it may take just as much time as a no-pectin recipe (taking into account the time to make the applesauce) it’s a lot more hands off–a decided improvement over 40 minutes of constantly stirring a steaming hot liquid.  This recipe uses less sugar than comparable recipes, and (since you’re not boiling away all that liquid) you get a better yield than no-pectin recipes for the same amount of fruit.  And in case you were worried, there is no weird applesauce flavor substrate interfering with things–just pure strawberry intensity.

As you’ll see from the pictures I’ve been sitting on this recipe for far too long.  I’m now rushing to get it out in the hopes of being a useful pal for the last waning days of strawberry season, so pardon the lack of pithy observations.  Even if you’re on to the next fruits of summer where you live, know that you can use natural pectin for a whole host of fruit recipes.  I know  I’ll be trying more of it this summer.

If you’re curious, here’s my maiden voyage into strawberry jams from three years ago

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Strawberry Jam with Natural Fruit Pectin adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Yield:  7-8 half pint jars.

Note:  You will need a food mill to make the applesauce.  If you don’t have one, I would expect you could peel the apples, and gather the seeds, cores, and peels in cheesecloth, and simmer these along with the apples when you make the sauce, to extract even more pectin.  Then discard when you go to puree your mixture.

As always, if you are new to canning, check out safety considerations and procedures at the National Center for Home Food Preservation.  I only provide an abbreviated discussion so please read up.

  • 5 tart apples such as Granny Smith apples, stem and blossom ends removed, coarsely chopped, cores intact and unpeeled.
  • 1 lemon or lime (unpeeled), finely chopped
  • water
  • 8 cups halved hulled strawberries
  • 5 1/2 cups granulated sugar

In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, comine the apples (including the cores), chopped lemon, and just enough water to prevent scorching. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to medium low. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Run the cooked mixture through a food mill–this will remove the cores and seeds–until you measure out two cups of “applesauce.”

Prepare your canning equipment and begin heating your water to sterilize your jars (bring jars to a rolling boil for 10 minutes). Prepare your lids and rings.

In a deep saucepan (it can be the same one you used for your applesauce if you wipe it out to make sure there are no leftover seeds or bits of skins) combine the applesauce, strawberries, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to ensure the sugar dissolves. Boil, stirring, until the mixture thickens. This takes about twenty minutes. The Ball cookbook suggests cooking until the jam mounds on a spoon, but this didn’t seem to happen for me–I found using the cold plate test more helpful and it proved to be accurate.

Make sure to skim the foam off the top of the jam before filling the jars.

Ladle the hot jam into the prepared jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Remove any airbubbles, wipe the rims clean, put on the lids, and screw on the rings fingertip-tight.

Return the jars to the boiling water bath, return to a rolling boil, and process for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, let the jars sit in the water for another five minutes, then remove from the hot water (this helps prevent siphoning).  Allow to cool, and check that jars have sealed.

Homemade Mustard with Balsamic Vinegar

Anyone my age remembers that Grey Poupon ad for mustard.  One limo drives up next to the other, and the dapper gentleman asks:  “Pardon  me, do you have any Grey Poupon”?  And with a heavy French accent (so you know it’s good) comes the response:  “but of course” as the jar of mustard is passed from one limo to the other.  And we’ve all learned the wonder that is Dijon mustard, so fine it’s even “made with white wine.”

Homemade Mustard (Balsamic Vinegar) (5 of 5)

The smooth voiceover explains that fortunately not all of life’s pleasures need be expensive ones, and despite its pretensions, Grey Poupon is definitively a supermarket brand–I’m sure true food snobs would only serve their Alsatian choucroute garnie or Mangalitsa heritage breed bratwust with fancy  jars of small-batch mustards from zingerman’s or gilt taste.

Homemade Mustard (Balsamic Vinegar) (4 of 6)

Homemade Mustard (Balsamic Vinegar) (3 of 6)

It would be a lie to say that I don’t wistfully salivate at products like this, but it would also be a lie to say that I don’t feel guilty about plunking down that much for a jar of mustard.  As it is, every week I gawk in horror at the grocery bill–I don’t know why I keep thinking, “this week will be different.”  It’s sort of like how every night my kids are surprised that they do actually have to go to bed.  You know, just like every other night of their entire lives.

Homemade Mustard (Balsamic Vinegar) (1 of 6) Homemade Mustard (Balsamic Vinegar) (1 of 5)

Some splurges I am willing to indulge in when it comes to food, but fortunately when it comes to mustard, I’ve learned there’s no need.  The homemade variety is incredibly easy to make and absolutely delicious.  And it’s cool to make your own mustard!  Although I’ve really only dabbled in basic flavors, it’s endlessly customizable as well:  just see these amazing-looking recipes from Jammy Chicken, Local Kitchen, and Kiss My Spatula.  You make smooth mustards from a powder, grainy mustards from mustard seeds, use vinegar or your choice of alcohol, and add herbs and spices.  You could even whip up a bunch and can it, though since the raw ingredients keep so well and because it’s so easy to make single batches as needed, I don’t even bother.

The only caveat is that you need to start your mustard about a week before you want to use it.  There’s hardly any work, but it does take a few days of waiting:  making mustard is a fascinating lesson in how flavor can mellow and change over time.  You’ve certainly seen recipes for soups and stews that are “even better the next day.”  With mustard, you go from a product that is so pungent as to be almost inedible to something deliciously sharp and flavorful.  (I’m not kidding about this:  when tasted too early, even repeat batches of mustard have sent me running to my pantry to be sure the vinegars I’d used hadn’t gone off.  Can vinegar even go off?  I don’t know).  Don’t be scared off–it mellows relatively quickly (in a matter of days) so you will soon be enjoying your concoction.  And thereafter it will keep for months in your fridge.

So, advertising doesn’t lie:  of the finer things in life happily some are affordable.  And delicious and easy to make to boot!  Bon Appetit!

Homemade Mustard (Balsamic Vinegar) (3 of 5)

(And, while unrelated to mustard, on the topic of 80’s  ads, I can’t resist linking to this one for Bugle Boy).

Homemade Mustard with Balsamic Vinegar  (adapted from Mark Bittman)

Notes: Mark Bittman says to be sure to use an equal mix of brown and yellow mustard seeds else the final result will be too acrid.  I’ve had a hard time finding brown mustard seeds in the stores, so I order online from The Spice House, though I recently realized that black seeds are often stocked in large bags in the Indian foods section.  That being said, I’ve seen many recipes that rely solely on one or the other so you can try one of the links I mentioned above or do a quick google search if you’re having trouble.   You could also use a recipe that relies on mustard powder if you don’t have a blender.  I’ve said it already, but the raw ingredients are so cheap that you can happily experiment away!

  • 2T yellow mustard seeds
  • 2T brown or black mustard seeds
  • 1/4c water
  • 1/4c champagne or white wine vinegar (5% or more acidity)
  • 1T balsamic vinegar
  • pinch salt
Put all the ingredients in a jar that can be well sealed with a tight-fitting plastic lid.  (Don’t use metal because the acid in the vinegar will corrode it).  Shake and then set in the fridge for 2 days.  As you can see from the pictures above, the seeds will absorb the liquid.
Pour into a blender and puree for a few minutes until reaching the desired level of graininess.  Stir down a few times with a rubber scraper while processing.  Add salt if needed.  Taste it and see if you like it, otherwise set it aside for a few more days in the fridge and let it mellow and thicken.  This keeps for several months in the fridge.

Homemade Mustard (Balsamic Vinegar) (6 of 6)