Last year's batch of Cranberry Rosemary Mustard recipe garnered raves and people have been asking if it'll be returning this Christmas (it is). And yet, and yet, last year's batch fell a little short in the color department. Mind you, no complaints or disparaging words were heard, but the ingredient's dull yellow, darkest red and pine green colors resulted in an indistinct not yellow, but not-pink-either hue. So this year I was wanted to pump up the pink. And this before it was announced that Pink has been named the Color of the Year.

So Pink! But how? I was tempted to dip into my cake decorating supplies and sneak in few dabs of red coloring but resisted. Personally I've no problem with commercial food coloring. The more lurid the the better. But when presenting your gifts of homemade love in a jar and possibly asked if food color has been used, one's stature would rise if conspiratorially admit that yes, you had whipped up a little batch of all-natural beet powder coloring just for the occasion.  Jun Belen, culinary adventurer and photographer extraordinaire shares his secret for this on his Jun-Blog. Sadly, I didn't read this post in time for last weekend's mustard marathon.

What I did do is double the amount of dried cranberries —  "Craisins" actually, the sweetened ones.  And I upped the rosemary to balance it out.  So this Cranberry Rosemary Mustard 2010 recipe is rosier and while indisputably a mustard, it's distinctive cranberry and rosemary flavors are more pronounced. 

Home taste tests concur this year is an improvement, but I'll tweet out feedback from recipients after the holidays.

A couple of things to note: Don't even think of making this without a sturdy, high-power food processor. Also, we've found NutsOnline to be an excellent source of high-quality, well-priced mustard seeds and other spices and dried fruits sold in larger quantities.  Relying on the small jars in the spice racks in the grocery stores would be ruinous.  

1 lb. yellow mustard seeds
12 oz. package Craisins (dried, sweetened cranberries)
3 oz. dried rosemary
apple cider vinegar

Combine ingredients in a non-reactive bowl or plastic storage container. Pour in enough vinegar so that the mustard seeds are submerged by a 1/2" of layer of vinegar. (The craisins and rosemary tend to float.) 

Now comes the long soak — at least three days but I give it five.  Check each day, especially at the beginning, to make sure the seeds stay covered with vinegar. The seeds soak up a lot of liquid so add just enough to cover. After the three days they will have absorbed as much as they're going to, but do check in until your ready for the big mix.

Ladle the marinated mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the sharpest blade. Turn on high and let it fly for ten minutes. After ten minutes you'll have a smooth pink mustard studded with whole or cracked seeds, which is pretty and has a wonderful flavor and texture. If you want smoother, let it whirl longer.

It'll take a few batches in the processor to make all this whole recipe. So empty the mixed mustard into a large bowl as you go.  This allows you to give a final stir around mixing each batch, making sure the color is consistent throughout.

Fill prepared jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Many recipes for homemade mustard don't call for the BWB, as the mustard-vinegar combo is most inhospitable. Still, better safe than sorry. And the swoosh of opening the vacuum is reassuringly impressive.

Cranberry Rosemary Mustard — a perfect gift-giving recipe for the holidays. And, I might add, one that followers of S.D. and recipients of last year's batch are currently making themselves.  Don't get left behind!

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Written by on December 14, 2010 under ALL RECIPES, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Relish.

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  • Charles G Thompson

    Where do you find the time? Or should I ask, rather, do you sleep? Another interesting, lovely, tasty looking recipe and dish. Loved reading how you wanted to make it pink this year.

    • Sean

      Oh I just curl up in my crypt as soon as the sun comes up and now, with the
      longer nights, I have so much more time than in the summer.

  • Anna Johnston

    So tell me….. any alternatives if I don’t possess a high powered high quality pressure cooker? I’ve gone & fallen in love with this but I’m pressure-cooker-less ;(

    • Sean

      Pressure cookers are pretty inexpensive nowadays (T-Fal makes good ones);
      safety has been much improved so the exploding scenarios of yesteryear are
      really nothing to worry about (too much). All pressure cooker are high-power
      — my pressure canner is better described as one with an actual temperature
      guage. For pressure cooking foods (sauces, stews) general heat settings
      (medium, high) are sufficient. For low-acid canning (meat, veggies w/o
      vinegar) you need to be sure you’re maintaining botulism-killing
      temperatures throughout the specified times. The prices of these aren’t
      going to break the bank and the retro-cool of the temperature guage has a
      Jules Verne steampunkian grooviness.

  • Susan Klement

    I am new to mustard making, but this looks amazing! Do you add all the vinegar into the food processor as well, or kind of drain it off and just add the soaked ingredients? I was assuming drain it off, but I am not sure. Thanks!

    • Sean

      Hi. For the mustard you do want it wet but not swimming. Save the vinegar
      you drain off in case its too thick. Be prepared for the cuisinart to take a
      good long time. Its kind of amazing. But pretty easy too. Let me know how it
      goes. Sean

      • Susan Klement

        Thanks! I didn’t see the email, but I came back again today to check anyway. I am kind of excited about this, I hope to try it next weekend. I appreciate the help!

        • Sean

          Some other things I’ve learned — you want to soak the seeds at least 3
          days, but it’s fine to let them soak longer until you’re ready to blend.

    • Sean

      Hi, just want to make sure you got my email yesterday, sent that from my
      hand held. Sean

  • Homemade canning

    Since they were so simple, I wondered why my efforts over the years were never as good as his. After much thought, I concluded that the secret is not only the ingredients, it is also the procedure.

    • Sean

      Correct measurements are key too. Some recipes are punishungly unforgiving
      if ingredients and process are not exact

  • Jo Booth

    Looks yummy, but wondering: How many jars does this yield?

    • Sean

      It’s one of those recipes that’s more about proportions than exact measures. If you start with 1 pound of mustard seeds, depending on how old they are (and there’s no good way to tell other than buying from a high volume store or online site) the soaking part can use as much as a quart of vinegar. This should yeild 2 qts, so also depends on what size jars you use.

  • Amy

    So how much volume is 3 oz dried rosemary? For us it looked like more than half of the mix and our batch looks muddy green not pink. Also smells overwhelmingly of rosemary and vinegar. I used rosemary I dried from my garden and think we ended up with way way too much.

    • Sean

      3 oz. was 1 McCormick Jar of dried rosemary. Try this: buy more of the craisins (dried sweetened cranberries). Add them to what you’ve got now and run throught the food processor. Not too fine so there are visible chunks of craisins. Once you add the craisins and get a more appealing color and you still find the taste is too vinegary, try adding dried powdered Coleman’s mustard powder to add mustard oomph.
      The overly vinegary situation might be b/c I wasn’t clear enough that you only add the seeds that are soaked, not all the extra soaking liquid, only if you need it to thin it. The fresh rosemary might be stronger than the McCormick. Lastly, it’s all in the labeling – if you think the look still isn’t right, try calling it Rosemary Mustard with Cranberry. And, remember, people like homemade stuff b/c it doesn’t taste like stuff they can buy. So if it is strongly rosemary-y and vinegary, people will think it’s intentional and rave about it all the more. If it tastes like anything they’ve have before their appreciation lessens… it’s like, “So? It’s mustard. I’ve had this before.”
      Hope this helps. Would love to know how it works out.

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