Start to Finish: 25 minutes
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
There are two ways to prepare honey mustard, depending on how you plan to use the condiment. The first version has a stronger flavor like prepared mustard that you would spread on a sandwich. The second version is a milder, creamier dipping sauce -- inspired by Southern Living -- which works well with foods such as chicken tenders. Mustard is very pungent and spicy when you first mix it. Plan to let it sit for 24 to 72 hours before using it, which will allow the flavors to mellow and become more palatable.
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/3 dry white wine
- 1/2 cup dry, ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper or paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, optional
- 1/2 to 1 cup honey
- 1 cup mayonnaise, optional
Prepare the Honey Mustard
Pour white wine vinegar and white wine into a medium saucepan. Heat them over medium-low heat.
Whisk in dry mustard, salt, and paprika or cayenne pepper. Add turmeric, if desired, to give the mustard a vibrant yellow hue.
Turmeric has a slightly bitter taste on its own, but that will be obscured by the other ingredients in the mustard. It is a powerful coloring agent, however, and it is less expensive than saffron, which is also used to color foods. Substitute saffron for turmeric, if desired. It will color the mustard similarly to turmeric, and its subtle floral flavor will complement the honey.
Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly. Remove the saucepan from the heat once the mustard reaches a simmer.
Add 1/2 to 1 cup of honey, depending on how strong you want its flavor to be. Incorporate it into the mustard with the whisk. Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes in the saucepan so that it is no longer steaming when you seal it in a container.
Transfer the honey mustard to a jar or another airtight container. Let it sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours to mellow.
Taste test the mustard after one day to assess its pungency. Allow it to sit at room temperature for another 24 to 48 hours if it is still too strong. Transfer the jar to the refrigerator when it reaches the intensity you prefer.
Store homemade mustard in the refrigerator for up to six months. Use it within one month for optimal flavor.
Turn Honey Mustard Into a Dipping Sauce
Scoop the mellowed honey mustard into a mixing bowl after it has reached the intensity you desire.
Stir mayonnaise into the mustard with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Transfer the honey mustard dipping sauce back to its jar for refrigeration or serve it immediately.
Adjusting the Mustard's Intensity
The hotness or pungency of mustard is partially determined by the color of the mustard seeds. White mustard seeds -- which may be called yellow mustard seeds -- are the mildest. Brown mustard seeds are moderately intense. Black mustard seeds are the strongest. Most commercial dry, ground mustard products are blends of white and brown seeds unless otherwise noted on the packaging.
The temperature of the liquid you add to dry, ground mustard affects the sauce’s pungency. Heat causes some of the mustard to break down, becoming milder. To create hotter mustard, keep all of the ingredients at room temperature and whisk them together in a mixing bowl. Do not heat the vinegar and wine or simmer the mustard.
Adding water instead of vinegar yields a sharper, more pungent mustard. But a water-based mustard will lack the acidity or "tang" that vinegar contributes to the sauce.
Mustard stored at room temperature mellows faster than refrigerated mustard. Transfer the honey mustard to the refrigerator immediately after mixing it to preserve its initial intensity as long as possible if you want it to be hotter.
Adjust the volumes of white wine vinegar and white wine to suit your tastes. For example, if you want the wine to be more pronounced, use 1/3 cup of white wine vinegar and 1/2 cup of white wine rather than the recommended volumes.
Thin the mustard with water, vinegar or wine if it is thicker than you want it to be. Thicken mustard that is too thin by incorporating pinches of flour or cornstarch until you achieve the desired consistency.
Make grainy or chunky honey mustard by grinding whole, dry mustard seeds in a blender instead of using dry mustard powder. Blend 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of seeds to generate 1/2 cup of dry mustard.
Soak dry mustard seeds in the vinegar and wine for 24 to 48 hours before grinding them. This softens the seeds, which gives the finished mustard sauce the proper texture. Grind the seeds and liquid together before heating them in the saucepan or mixing them with other ingredients.
Substitute beer for the wine, if desired. You can also substitute water for the wine, but the mustard will have a much more pungent flavor.
Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar when you add the dry mustard, salt and paprika, if you want an exceptionally sweet sauce.
Quick Alternative Recipe
Create a quick honey mustard by stirring together equal parts honey and store-bought yellow or Dijon mustard. Taste test the sauce and adjust the flavors with more mustard or honey as needed. Season it to taste with salt and cayenne pepper or paprika.
Mix equal parts of honey mustard and mayonnaise to transform the condiment into a milder, creamier dipping sauce. A quick honey mustard dipping sauce should be half mayonnaise, one-fourth honey and one-fourth store-bought mustard.