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The Muscadine
Muscadine and scuppernong grapes (a well-known bronze variety of muscadine) are native to the southeastern US and are widely
grown in backyards all across the south. Muscadines are slowly gaining in popularity in the commercial market, primarily in the
wine industry. However, most people know muscadines as a fresh off-the-vine treat in the late summer and early fall.

A few homesteaders turn their muscadines into jams and jellies. And a few others might even make a little wine. Even though it
seems that every family has memories of "grandma's muscadine pie" few people today have enjoyed this old treasure firsthand.

What to do with the hulls
Like apples, there are a number of different muscadine varieties, each with their own unique characteristics. Because muscadines
typically have tough hulls that are not so pleasant to eat, people often spit them out along with the seeds. This is why muscadine pie
recipes often call for cooking the hulls separately from the pulp until tender, before reintroducing them into to the pie filling.

However, there are some varieties that have thick, sweet, juicy hulls that are as good to eat as the rest of the muscadine grape. For
these there is another option. You can slice the grapes in half, remove the seeds, and use them "as is" in the filling. I have a Black
Beauty variety (from Ison's Nursery) that falls into this category. That are a delight to eat and hold together so well that you can slice
them in half as you would a small plum (see the video below).

Muscadine Pie, An "Almost" Lost Treasure

1 quart muscadines
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch (or 4 tablespoons all purpose flour)
2 pie crusts

Preparing the fruit
  • Take 1 quart of muscadines and mash with a potato masher and separate the hulls by hand into a separate pot. Add just
    enough water to barely cover the hulls and simmer until tender, usually about 20-25 minutes.
  • Press the pulp through a sieve to remove the seeds. Cook the pulp in another pot at a simmer for 10 minutes. There should
    be enough liquid so that you don't have to add any water to the pulp.
  • Combine the hulls and pulp and blend with a  spoon.

Making the pie
  • Add butter to the warm muscadine fruit and blend with a spoon.
  • Add sugar and cornstarch.
  • Pour into pre-made pie crust. Use 2nd crust for top crust.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.