I saw a recipe recently for jezebel sauce and it struck me that this was the second time in the past year the idea had appeared. I checked the ingredients and, well, showed it to my wife Suzi.

“Look, this has horseradish,” I said. That was unfair. If the recipe was for foie gras brownies but included horseradish, Suzi would be on board.

Oh, that horseradish. My god, so much horseradish you cannot believe it.

There are a herd of recipes out there for this sauce, definitely a wonder from the American South. The most common recipe appears to be apple jelly, orange marmalade, horseradish and mustard. Finding apple jelly can be a tad hard, I discovered, but the secret is simply to combine two jelly substances. In the picture you see here, I used orange marmalade plus apricot jelly for one and, yes, concord grape jelly for the other.

Both are delicious. We serve this at Suzi’s cooking school, Cooking by the Book. A class begins with appetizers and these versions of jezebel sauce were offered up with cream cheese and crackers. It flies, flies, off the plate. You can employ the sauce with protein, too. That concord grape version goes very well with poultry meat, especially a turkey leg. [Think next Thanksgiving or just this coming Christmas!]

In the recipe below, the proportions are gargantuan when it comes to the horseradish, almost as much horseradish as jelly or marmalade. Personally, I found the horseradish drowned out the jelly. Suzi, of course, loved it. I made a second batch, cut the horseradish in half and found it much better. Suzi liked it, too. I did not tell her about the horseradish reduction and I never well.

When it comes to mustard, you will see recipes calling for a range of dry mustard, a teaspoon to three tablespoons. Again, that mustard heat can dominate so, go easy. Start with some and then build up the taste you love.

I did find apple jelly in Knoxville. In NYC, I could not find it anywhere, including Whole Foods. Upstate in Kingston, I found apple cider jelly. I can’t wait!

Have fun!

Classic Jezabel Sauce

Yield: 3 cups


  • 10 ounces of apple jelly [or other basic jelly base]
  • 10 ounces of orange marmalade [or apricot or concord grape or …]
  • 8 ounces of prepared horseradish [start with 2 and work your way up]
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard [start with 1 teaspoon and work your way up]


Put everything in a bowl. Use a whisk or wooden spoon top to mix until smooth.

In one recipe, there was a suggestion to heat the apple jelly to soften it. I found jelly at room temperature to be fine.

Source: All Recipes plus many others

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/3.5 for 1/230th second at ISO‑200