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Slice of Muscadine Pie

Muscadine Pie

Renée Robinson

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. 

Grapes for Filling

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.

Empty Grapes

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.

Muscadine Pie

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. 

Muscadine Pie

Recipe by Renée Robinson



Muscadine grapes make a gorgeous pie. Their sweet/tart flavor makes for one of the best pie fillings I've ever tasted. And a dab of crème fraîche on top doesn't hurt either.

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  • Double Crust Pie Pastry
  • 3 sticks of salted butter, each stick cut into 10 slices, well chilled

  • 3 cups flour (390 grams) all purpose unbleached flour, such as Gold Medal

  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

  • 6 1/2 tablespoons ice cold water

  • Muscadine Pie
  • 2 quarts Muscadine grapes, at least one of the quarts should be the purple colored variety in order for the color of the pie to be purple.

  • 1/4 cup grape jelly

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 5 tablespoons Instant Clear Gel or cornstarch

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • Sparkling finishing sugar

  • Crème fraîche for topping each serving


  • Double Crust Pie Pastry
  • Combine the cider vinegar and ice water and place in the refrigerator to chill.
  • In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder on the lowest speed for about 30 seconds in order to mix well. Turn it off, add the well chilled butter slices, and mix on the same low speed for only a few seconds. You only want the slices to be coated in flour and perhaps bashed up a little. You don’t want the pieces of butter to be broken up at this point.
  • Turn on the mixer once again to the lowest speed and slowly add the water/vinegar. After it’s all been added you will only run the mixer for a few seconds. The dough should be shaggy and the butter should be in different sized pieces. Some will still be large. There will still be some dry flour. That’s fine. It’s what you want.
  • Dump the contents onto a clean counter and using your hands, bring it lightly together into a mound. It will not all be sticking together.
  • Using the heel of your hand, begin pressing down and pushing a small amount of the dough away from you. This technique is called fraisage. Continue with the rest of the dough. Using a bench scraper, fold the dough over on top of itself and continue pressing and pushing the dough in the same manner until it has all come together in a cohesive dough. This may take 3 or 4 folds. You are building layers.
  • Cut the dough in half, shape each half into a disc, and wrap each half tightly in plastic wrap. When you cut the dough in half, you should be able to see all the layers you have developed. Chill for at least a couple of hours. The dough will keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days, but can also be frozen for a couple of months. If using from the frozen stage, let it thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours before rolling out. Let the chilled dough sit at room temperature for 10 t0 15 minutes before rolling out on a floured surface.
  • Muscadine Pie
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll one disc of pastry into a 12 inch circle and place into a 9 inch pie dish, trimming the edges to 1 1/2 inches beyond the rim of the pie dish. Roll the remaining disc of pastry, which will be the top of the pie, into a 12 inch circle, cut into lattice strips and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Chill both the pie shell and the lattice top for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 425° with a rack in the lower third of the oven.
  • Squeeze the hulls off the grapes and place the pulp in a medium saucepan, reserving the hulls in a bowl. Cook the pulp over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pulp turns translucent and the seeds start separating from the pulp. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  • Place the pulp in a blender and blend on the LOWEST speed for about one minute. You don’t want the seeds to break up. No need to wash the blender as you’ll be using it again in a few minutes. Strain the cooked pulp back into the same saucepan and add the hulls. Cook over medium heat until the hulls have softened - about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the grape jelly. Let cool for a few minutes. Place in the blender and blitz until the hulls are pulverized.
  • Pour into a bowl and stir in the lemon juice, vanilla extract, cardamom, and salt. In a small bowl stir together the sugar and Instant Clear Gel or cornstarch. Stir the sugar mixture into the grape filling. Set aside.
  • Remove the pie shell from the refrigerator and add the filling. Top with the lattice strips. Fold under and crimp. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes. Remove from the freezer and lightly spray the top of the pie with water. Sprinkle on the finishing sugar of your choice. I used sparkling sugar for this pie. Bake the pie on the lower rack for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375° for another 40 to 50 minutes, until the top is nicely browned and the grape filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven, place on a rack and let cool before slicing. A spoonful of crème fraîche on each serving is lovely. Enjoy!


  • 9 inch Pie Dish
  • Blender

2 Responses

    1. 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.😊

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