Baking with Muscadines
These heritage recipes come to us courtesy of David Goforth. David says:
"It is possible to cook pies or puddings with muscadine grapes. Grape Hull pudding is a more common traditional recipe.
Growing up, Mom would allow each child to request the dessert of their choice on their birthday. I had a difficult choice between persimmon pudding and grape hull pudding but I remember a few years I chose grape hull pudding. Muscadine Grape Hull Pudding (This was taught by my great grandma Rosa Kelly to my grandmother Stella Kelly Poole, born 1915 in Montgomery County, NC. Stella was the first one to record the recipe in writing. Her recipe was 3 times larger than this. I reduced the amounts because I doubt you have a husband and 9 kids, all of them farming and some working in the sawmill.)"
2 cups muscadine grape hulls (Use your thumbs to press grapes in a pan to separate pulp and hulls)
1 ½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
Beat these together and then add:
1½ cup milk
¾ cup self-rising flour
Mix and bake at 375 degrees until done. Normally takes about 1 hour in a glass dish. The pudding will be solid and the crust will be brown.
Most people familiar with local cuisine will rate the muscadine pie as the second best kind. Damson pie is considered the best. Muscadine pie is not a simple process, so many cooks don't go to the trouble of cooking them each year.
Muscadine pie (Adapted from a traditional southern recipe) Pie Crust
1 quart ripe muscadines
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon butter cut in small pieces
Press muscadines in a pan to separate hulls from pulp. Strain so as to get juice, leaving pulp and seed. Cook hulls in juice until tender, adding a little water if needed. Let cool, and then add lemon juice, flour, and sugar. Put fruit mixture in prepared crust. Bake at 375 until done.
It is possible to make a pie filling by thickening the cooked muscadine hulls with corn starch, but you may want to start with a few more grapes if you use that technique. With a corn starch filling, you can separate the seeds from the pulp (one method is to use a blender set very low) and add the seedless pulp to the hulls after they have cooked tender.