Autumn is the season for mushrooms, chestnuts and boiled meats with mustard in many areas of Italy. Side dish for boiled meat unique in the world, the fruit mustard (famous that of Cremona) has nothing to do with Dijon mustard and is made with fruit, whole or in pieces, with the addition of mustard flour. There is a sweet, a bittersweet and a spicy version and it owes its name to the must, used as a sweetener when there was no sugar, which once appeared among its ingredients. Notice to mariners: prepare the mustard at home it is not easy and requires great experience, but they say that by trying you learn.
The ingredients classics of a Cremonese-style fruit mustard are: 600 gr. of pears moscatelle, 3 quinces, 300 gr. of figs, 200 gr. of prunes, 2 tablespoons of mustard, 600 g of sugar, 1 glass of white wine vinegar. As you can see (and how we like it) the recommended fruit is strictly seasonal (in this case autumn) and does not include variations (recommended at other times of the year) with cherries, apricots and other fruit from other seasons.
How to prepare fruit. Smaller pears only need to be peeled, larger pears cut in two and cored. The quinces should be peeled, cut into 4-6-8 pieces (depending on the size) and cleaned inside. The figs must only be washed while the dried plums must be immersed in boiling water for a few minutes to make them revive and then pitted.
Preparation of mustard. In a saucepan pour 6 dl. of water and 600 gr. of sugar and put it on the fire. When the sugar is completely dissolved, mix and add the fruit in this sequence: first the quince slices, after 15 minutes the whole pears, after another 5 those cut in two. After a further quarter of an hour, add the figs and after 5 minutes the plums, remembering that the pot must always be covered. 10 minutes after the last addition, remove from heat and let cool.
Pour a glass of vinegar into a saucepan, bring it to a boil, add 2 tablespoons of mustard (previously diluted in warm water), remove from the stove and let it cool. Now distribute the fruit in the glass jars filling them carefully with the bottom liquid of the pot already mixed with the insenapato vinegar. Here are some excellent jars of Cremonese-style fruit mustard to accompany mixed boiled meats and cheeses.