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January 2, 2018 Canning, Fruits, Jams & Preserves, Preserving Recipes

Winter Fruit Mostarda

Updated – January 4, 2021

“Winter Fruit Mostarda Recipe reprinted with permission from Preserving by the Pint © 2014 by Marisa McClellan, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.”

Traditionally, mostarda is whole or sliced fruit that’s been preserved in a mustard oil-infused syrup. The end result looks like innocent preserved fruit, but has the sharpness and sinus-clearing power of horseradish. Because mustard oil is hard to find in the US, I’ve combined mustard seeds and a few pinches of hot pepper to replicate that arresting flavor. Try it with cold roast beef or aged cheddar.

WinterFruitMostardaMakes 3 half-pints


1 pound pears
1 pound apples
1 cup honey
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon aleppo pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Prepare a boiling water bath canner and three half-pint jars. Place three lids into a small pan of water and bring to a gentle simmer.

Wash apples and pears well.

Combine honey with one cup of water, mustard seeds, apple cider vinegar, Aleppo pepper, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil.

While the syrup heats, peel, core, and slice the fruit. As you cut each piece, slip it into the cooking syrup, so that the fruit never gets a chance to oxidize.

Once all the fruit segments are in the syrup, let it cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the apples and pears are starting to go translucent, but before they fall apart.

When time is up, use a slotted spoon to transfer the fruit into the prepared jars. Return the syrup to the stove, bring it back up to a boil and cook until it has reduced by at least half and looks quite thick. Ladle the thickened syrup over the fruit, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.

Tap the jars to help remove any trapped air bubbles and add more syrup, if necessary.

Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

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