Enjoying Muscadines

Follow these tips for eating, seeding and cooking with muscadines.
cut an X on one end of muscadine to pop out pulp

cut an X on one end of muscadine to pop out pulp

Muscadines have long been loved for their sweet, earthy flavor. Now research is showing that muscadines are one of the most healthful foods around. They are richer in fiber, zinc, manganese, iron and calcium than almost any other fruit, and they are one of the best sources of important antioxidants such as resveratrol.

When it comes to eating, the fruity flavor of a muscadine seems best when the grapes are enjoyed right out of the hand. The true way to eat them is to plop the muscadine right in your mouth and spit out the seeds after you've enjoyed the juicy pulp. Needless to say, this is better for picnics than for dinner parties.

For use in recipes, muscadines can be seeded with a knife, then served in salads or canned for jellies. To seed, just cut the muscadine in half and flick the seeds out with the tip of the knife.

If you're going to use muscadines in a recipe that calls for the fruits to be peeled, on the other hand, here's a trick: just cut an X on one end of the muscadine and squeeze the other end until the pulp pops out.

Muscadine Cake

2-1/2 c. muscadines
1 box white cake mix
1 box blackberry gelatin
3/4 c. oil
4 eggs

Cook 2-1/2 cups muscadines in 1-1/2 cups water until hulls are tender. Remove seeds. Separate hulls and juice. Mix one box white cake mix, one box blackberry gelatin, 3/4 c. oil and 1/2 c. muscadine juice; add eggs one at a time. Beat until fluffy. Fold 1 c. hulls into batter. Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees until done.

Topping:
Bring to a boil 1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 c. juice. Spoon over cake while cake is still hot.

Muscadine Hull Pie

Recipe courtesy of www.cooks.com.
2-1/2 c. muscadine hulls and pulp
3 tbsp. melted butter
1 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
One purchased or homemade pie pastry

Wash fully ripened muscadines. Separate pulp and hulls. Cook pulp slowly until soft. Rub through sieve. Boil hulls until tender. Combine sugar, flour and add to muscadine mixture. Add butter. Pour into pastry-lined pan. Cover top with strips of pastry. Bake in hot oven (425 degrees) about 25 minutes.

Editor's Note (www.cooks.com): My aunts told me that grandmother made "grape pie" when they were little girls, but none of them could remember how she did it. I have tried to find this recipe for years, so I was really tickled when it showed up in the morning's mail. I want to say a personal thank you to Ina Wray for her contribution of this recipe.

Broiled Chicken Breasts With Muscadine Juice

Recipe courtesy of www.cooks.com.
4 chicken breasts, skinned and halved
1 c. muscadine juice
1 chicken or beef bouillon cube
1/2 c. chopped green onions
1 tsp. paprika
1 c. muscadine puree
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Sauté the onion in a small amount of water and add the bouillon cube. Let dissolve. Add the balance of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and pour the liquid over the chicken. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until done. Remove from foil and broil until brown.

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