Durkee’s Sauce Copycat Recipe

There is very little doubt that I married into a very southern family.  When I went to meet my now deceased in-laws for the first time, my husband warned me that his father would ask which side my family fought on in The War.  I was expected to know that he would be referring to the American Civil War and fortunately I had the best answer available, as my family fought on both sides.  Later, I was to learn that this had less to do with him really caring about my family’s orientation during this period in history, and more to do with how I handled myself under this mild interrogation.  At least this time I passed the test.

Not long after meeting my father-in-law I learned that his favorite lunch was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  If his wife was away shopping and it was lunch time he would stroll to the kitchen and after grumbling a bit about not understanding what could keep her out so long, he would prepare a PB&J.  If for some reason he varied from this kid-like meal, he would create a ham sandwich on white bread with Durkee’s. As our oldest child grew and became able to enjoy this ritual with his grandfather, he too, loved this mustardy sauce.  Durkee’s became a staple in our house and if someone was having a sandwich and we were out, I was sure to hear about it.

It seems that in recent years the original Durkees recipe may have undergone some changes.  Many consumers of this product claim that it disappeared from the store shelves in recent years, and when it returned it was more gelatinous and less smooth.  I did notice that it’s current ingredient label includes xantham gum.  This food additive gives food a thick and sometimes smooth texture, and was discovered in the 1960’s.  As such, I doubt that it was in the original Durkee’s recipe since it is rumored to be over 100 years old.  Also, the lead ingredient on the current bottle is soybean oil.  This, too, sounds suspicious as soybean oil was not a common ingredient in foods at the time this recipe came into existence.  Either way, if you are looking to create and share your own Durkee’s like sauce you will find basic ingredients in my recipe and the taste is just the tangy mustard and vinegar flavor that has made this condiment so well liked through the years.  Whether you use it to make potato or chicken salad, on your ham sandwich, in deviled eggs, or on home-grown tomato sandwiches, you will find this recipe to be very similar to the original Durkee’s sauce.  Plus it is very easy to create!

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Durkee’s Sauce Copycat Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

Thoroughly combine flour, sugar, mustard.  Add milk and yolks to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.  Using a whisk add pre-mixed dry ingredients.  Whisk in vinegar.  Heat while whisking continually until the sauce comes to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and stir intermittently until thick.  Serve either warm over ham or chicken fingers, or refrigerate to use in sandwiches, deviled eggs or in salads.

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