Homemade mustards are a treat. You can vary the spices and herbs, as well as the liquid with which the dry mustard is mixed (water, wine, beer, vinegar). Your homemade mustard will be very zesty at first, but will mellow over time.
Most mustard recipes don't require processing in a boiling-water bath as long as they are refrigerated, but this one contains eggs and so requires processing and sealing. If you have never done this, don't panic or back away--it's not really difficult. You will need half-pint canning jars, lids, and rings. I also suggest that you purchase a jar-lifter and a lid-lifter (the latter is a rod with a magnet on the end of it). You can probably rig something up if you don't want to buy these items, but chances are, once you see for yourself how easy this whole processing thing is, you'll find yourself doing it again. I have seen people use tongs to lift jars out of hot water, and a book I have shows a wire coat hanger bent in such a way that it can lift lids out of the water. I feel safer, though, having the proper tools, especially in the case of the jar-lifter.
To process jars:
You'll need a pot for scalding the jars, a covered stockpot for processing the jars, a saucepan for making the mustard itself, and a small saucepan for the lids. This recipe makes two half-pints, so you shouldn't need a terribly large pot for scalding. For processing, you need a pot deep enough to cover the jars with at least an inch of water, with space above that to accommodate rapidly boiling water (I use an 8- or 9-quart stockpot). Since the jars need to sit on a rack, I use a round cake-cooling rack that I place in the bottom of the pot.
Bring water to a boil in a pot large enough to hold two half-pint jars for scalding. Also start heating the water in your processing pot. While the water heats, wash and rinse your lids, jars, and rings. Place the lids in a small saucepan of hot water and keep the water hot on the stove--but do not let the water boil.
Place the jars in the scalding water and leave them there until needed. The water does not have to boil continually--it just needs to remain very hot.
Make the mustard (recipe follows). Place a doubled kitchen towel (I don't use the terrycloth ones but rather the lint-free type, just personal preference) on the counter next to the stove. Make sure the processing water is boiling. Fill the scalded jars (which you've placed on the towel--you don't want a cold countertop to crack them) with the mustard. Be careful not to burn yourself as you remove and drain the hot jars, and as you ladle or pour the mustard into the jars, leaving a headspace of 1/4 inch. I use a wide funnel in filling the jars that helps keep the mustard (or jam or honey or sauce) from getting on the rim of the jar, but you don't really need this. With a damp towel or paper towel, wipe any drips off the jar rim. Take a lid out of the water and place it on the jar; screw the ring on tightly. I use a potholder to hold the hot jar while I screw the cap on.
When you've filled the jars, lower them into the by now boiling water (at least it had better be boiling!). When the water comes back to a boil, start timing. The jars need to be processed for 10 minutes. Remove the jars, placing them on a doubled kitchen towel.
As the jars cool, they will (or should!) seal. You will most likely hear them pop loudly, but that doesn't always happen. Within a few minutes, you should hear that popping sound, or you should be able to notice that the jar lid has become concave.
Let the jars cool completely before storing or wrapping. If you like, you can remove the metal screw bands and, for gift giving, use a plastic jar lid over the canning lid (you can buy these where canning supplies are sold, if you want to do this). That way the giftee can toss the metal lid (which isn't reusable) and simply use the plastic one.
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3/4 cup dry mustard
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 3 eggs
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan, stirring or whisking until smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thick and smooth, stirring occasionally. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Refrigerate after opening.