Cooking Classes


Muscadine Jelly

Muscadines are a type of grape that grow wild in southeastern USA. The climate is ideal in this part of the country. I found the fruit to be very tart, the skin tough and a lot of seeds. In short, it was too much effort. I would rather eat other grapes.

I bought them at the farmer’s market. To avoid letting them rot in the fridge until I threw them out, I thought perhaps they would make a nice jelly.

Grapes naturally have enough pectin to allow the juice to gel when boiled with sugar. I found a simple recipe online that consisted simply of juice and sugar - 3 parts juice to 2 parts sugar. Boil until you reach the gel stage.
It worked very well. I boiled the muscadines in water to cover. When they were soft and split open, I mashed them and boiled until very soft. I strained the pulp through coffee filters. Then I boiled the syrup with sugar, skimming off scum as it formed. When the syrup came off a spoon in two drops rather than one thin stream, it was ready.

The result was a perfectly clear and robust jelly.
It is very important to allow the juice to drain from the pulp without squeezing. Otherwise a cloudy jelly will be produced. If it is clouded with pulp, then it should not be labeled jelly.

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