This traditional Italian condiment is perfect to serve with ham off the bone or other cold meats and cheese. Use firm apricots and figs for the Mostardo as you need them to retain their shape. Soft fruit will break down during cooking. All the dried fruits can be found in the loose bins at good supermarkets. If you want a fiery mostarda, increase the quantity of hot English mustard to half a cup or add a pinch of ground cayenne pepper to the recipe.
1 cup dried Turkish apricots, halved
½ cup dried apples, thinly sliced
10 dried Turkish figs, quartered
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried cherries
1 hard pear, peeled, cored and cut into large pieces
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
1½ cups caster sugar
zest of 1 each orange and lemon
juice of 2 each oranges and lemons, strained
¼ cup prepared hot English mustard
½ cup white wine vinegar
Place all the fruit, mustard seeds, sugar and the zest in a saucepan. Put the juice in a measuring cup and add enough water to make 2 cups. Whisk in the mustard and vinegar and stir into the fruit.
Place the saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Simmer briskly, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it sticking on the base of the saucepan. Spoon the mostardo into hot, sterilized jars and seal. Store in a cool place for 1 week before opening. Refrigerate after opening. Makes about 3 cups