Quince Mostarda


Mostarda is an Italian fruit condiment with numerous regional variations. This ancient preserve mixes the intense spice of mustard with the sweet flavor of candied fruit (although in Piedmont, they sometimes make it without mustard and call it "cogna"). Quince is traditional, but mostardas can also be made with other fruits — even vegetables and sometimes nuts. Mostarda is a delicious accompaniment to cheeses, salamis, Pâtés, and roasted meats  "Verjus"is French for "green juice." It's made from unripe grapes and its natural acidity is used to heighten the flavor of marinades, sauces, and dressings in the same manner as vinegar, but without the bite.


1 3/4 cups Moscato white wine or verjus (divided)
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 medium quinces (peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, about 3 cups)
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried apricots (sliced)
1 tablespoon dry mustard


Place 1-1/2 cups of the wine, sugar, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of water in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is clear, about 5 minutes. Add the quince, raisins, and apricots, and reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the fruit is tender but not mushy,15 to 30 minutes. Cooking times will vary depending on the variety of the quince.

Set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and transfer the quince mixture to the sieve. Drain the fruit, reserving the syrup. Divide the fruit mixture among 3 sterilized glass half-pint jars.

Meanwhile, place the mustard and the remaining 1/4 cup of Moscato wine in the saucepan and whisk to blend. Add the reserved syrup and cook for 1 minute over high heat. Pour the syrup over the fruit, seal the jars, and refrigerate. The mostarda can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

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