One of the Best Pies I’ve Ever Tasted.
Well, this is a first for me. I had never made a muscadine pie. Nor had I ever tasted one. I always buy muscadines when they show up in my market because I’m nuts about their flavor. I’ve sliced them in half and roasted them, as well as simply eating them out of hand. But then I got it in my head to make a pie and started looking at recipes. I couldn’t find one that sounded exactly right to me, so I devised my own.
I always begin by making my all butter pie crust the day before. That way, the crust has plenty of time to rest and all I have to do is roll it out on pie baking day. I also try to keep a disc or 2 in my freezer most of the time, in case I get the urge to bake a pie or quiche, etc.
I knew I wanted that pretty purple color, so I bought 1 quart of the purple variety of muscadines and 1 quart of the green variety because I like the flavors of both. Squeezing them out of their hulls only takes a few minutes. Separating the pulp from the seeds was my next task and this is how I did it. I put the pulp into a saucepan and cooked it for 10-15 minutes, until it turned translucent and the the seeds started separating from the pulp.
I saw where some recipes said to simply push it through a strainer at this point, but I decided to try something different. Many of the seeds were still attached to the pulp and I didn’t feel like expending the amount of energy it was going to take to mash them through a strainer. I put it all into my Vitamix and turned it to the very lowest speed. I let this go for about a minute. This really helped the seeds separate and the low speed prevented the seeds from being broken up. Now, I simply strained the mixture and was ready to proceed.
Back into the saucepan it went, along with the reserved hulls. After cooking for 10 minutes, the hulls had softened sufficiently to allow them to be pulverized when I put everything back into the blender. At that point it was simply a matter of mixing in the sugar, flavorings, and thickener. I also added a quarter cup of grape jelly in order to amp up the grape flavor.
Not having ever tasted a muscadine pie, I wasn’t sure about what it was supposed to taste like. All I knew was what I imagined it should be.
This surpassed my expectations. It’s all that and more. A little spoonful of crème fraîche was my topping of choice. It perfectly set off the tart sweet filling. I will most definitely be baking this pie every year during muscadine’s short season. I also think this would work really well with Concord grapes, too.
Better than your plum pie?? Can’t be! I’ll definitely have to try this.
Thanks, Diane! It’s hard to say which is better. The grape pie packs an intense flavor punch that’s really delicious. The plum pie is more subtle. I happen to love both of them and hope you give the grape pie a try.😊