Muscadines are native to the southern US and are a common sight in local farmers markets. Although tasty, the skins are thick and the seeds bitter so they are often more popular turned into wine or preserves than eaten raw.
I recently was the lucky recipient of a batch when the remnants of hurricane Irma swept through Georgia as a tropical storm and a neighbor preemptively picked what he had left on his vines before the 60 mph winds came through.
Once the power came back on my thoughts turned to what to do with them and as luck would have it the theme for the September Food in Jars Mastery Challenge was fruit butters. When it comes to fruit butters I have never ventured beyond the standard apple butter so trying it with muscadines would definitely be a new departure for me.
The result is just the right balance of sweet, tart and fruity, and I’m looking forward to spreading it on my toast, spooning it onto pancakes, adding to oatmeal, mixing it into yogurt……….
1.5 cups sugar
8 tbs lemon juice
Place the ingredients in a pan and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat, lightly crushing them with the back of a wooden spoon, or a potato masher, as they warm up.
Gently boil for 15 minutes until the muscadines are soft and tender and have released their juice.
Remove from the heat and either pass through a sieve or a food mill to remove the seeds and skins.
Pour the thickened fruit into sterilised jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace and then process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes. If you need to know more about water bath canning there is a good introductory guide on the Ball canning website.
Yield: 3x 4oz jars