Posts Tagged ‘Muscadine’

Muscadine Sherbet

I’ll admit it; I really ought to measure when making up new recipes, but I rarely do. Today was no exception.

Having some muscadine grapes from the farmer’s market that really needed to be used, I decided to boil 2-3 cups of them in a cup or less of water. I filled a pan half full of grapes and about a quarter full of water, picking the grapes that were a little softer than the others, so we’d have a few to eat raw, the way we love them best.

I boiled these with a little lemon juice for about 5 minutes, just until the skins started to split, and then let them cool for awhile, long enough to do a little cleaning. Then I ran them through the sieve on our Kitchenaid stand mixer. Though we don’t use it too often, the attachment set we got for this as a wedding present (hoping to make baby food some day, which we did briefly) has come in very handy over the years. There is a screw that pushes the fruit pulp through the sieve, and all the seeds and harder parts of the skin come out the end, making quick work of seeding grapes, among other things.

I put the resulting juice in the refrigerator for a few hours until it was cold, then added 1/4 cup powdered sugar (based on a recipe tip) and some honey, after thinking better of the sugar idea. Next time, I’ll probably just use honey.

I briefly waffled between making sorbet and sherbet, but after estimating how much liquid I would need, I decided to go the sherbet route by adding a little buttermilk. I poured it in until I had the color I wanted (just a little creamy, but not too light). Tasted to be sure it wasn’t too tart, then poured it in our ice cream freezer, and turned the paddles now and then, according to the instructions. After 20 minutes or so, out came some beautiful and delicious sherbet.

The grape flavor was intense, sweet and tart with that typical muscadine edge that is hard to describe, a little bitter perhaps, almost metallic. It was an excellent finish to our dinner of butternut squash and basil risotto, topped with toasted garlic and Jerusalem artichoke slivers, but that’s a recipe for another time, perhaps.

Muscadines and Peanuts

It’s another Farmer’s Market Saturday. I was glad not to get wet, as we’re still in the deluge cycle, and I walked without an umbrella (too much to carry with one). It was fine on the way down, then poured cats and dogs while I was there — glad they have a roof over ours — but let up after awhile, and I made it home in a drizzle.

I bought a gallon of muscadines for $5.00 — now I have to figure out what to do with them all. It may be more than we can just eat! This morning I made some muscadine, quince syrup for our pancakes. This is the kind of fresh fruit syrup I try to make whenever we run out of real maple syrup (another gallon is on its way, but wasn’t delivered in time for our weekly pancakes). This is a ‘recipe’ I’ve adapted from my Mom’s:

1 cup or so of water (depending on how much you want to make)
1 table spoon or so of corn starch (depending on how much water)
1 cup or so of sugar (to taste)
Fruit — I used two generous handfuls of muscadine grapes (seeds removed) and two small quince from our quince bush (cored and seeds removed)

Boil the water and sugar. Mix the corn starch in a little cold water before mixing with boiling water. Cut up fruit and add to boiling water. Boil until syrupy. If the fruit doesn’t break down enough for your tastes, puree in the blender for a few seconds. Serve piping hot on pancakes. Leftovers make good cold syrup for over ice cream.

The pancakes and syrup turned out great. My trip to the market also yielded red and green peppers, Thai eggplant, honey, and eggs. Earlier in the week, I had picked up 2 lbs of raw peanuts in the shell, which Kim is now boiling in the crock pot with 3 tbsp of salt, water to cover, and a jalepeno. You could use other hot peppers — we hope this doesn’t get too hot! We made these last week with cajun spice, and they were great, but not quite hot enough. So we’ll see how this goes.

All the rain we’ve gotten in the past two weeks hasn’t helped our farmers much, but we’re thankful they can still bring some things in to the market. It sure beats mass-produced food from the grocery store, though we’re glad to have Kroger for the things we can’t get at the market. We’re glad to get organic produce there, and to have one farmer who’s certified organic at our market, too!