Wednesday, September 7, 2011

scuppernongs, a native american fruit-pie #40 of 52

i can remember the first time i heard someone talk about scuppernongs-i thought they were nuts.  just say the name out loud and you may understand.  it hardly sounds like something that anyone should be eating.  years later, the trend towards native plants and foods makes this recipe somewhat relevant.  the scuppernong,  a bronze muscadine, is the only native grape found in north america and are easy to grow.

all muscadines have thick skins.  you need to separate the pulpy insides from the skins by squeezing them.  the skins are then simmered until soft and the pulp is then run through a food mill to remove the large seeds which are inedible(they aren't poisonous but are a little like gravel if you end up with them in your mouth).  the recipe can be made with either the red or green (also called bronze) muscadines but remember, only the green ones are called scuppernongs.  the flavor is a bit musky in comparison to grapes  and they will take on other flavors easily so be careful not to overdo it when adding additional ingredients to the pie.  since there aren't too many options for using the fruits, this recipe is a lot like everyone you will find online and that is about as good as it gets.

scuppernong pie
1 (9") pie serving 8

enough pie dough for a double  crust pie
1 quart scuppernongs
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon zest
egg wash and crystal sugar, if desired

separate the skins from the pulp of the fruit.  place the skins in a sauce pan with the water and simmer until tender, can take as long as 30 minutes.  allow the skins and the liquid to cool before using.  run the pulp through a food mill to remove the seeds-this can also be done by hand; just pick out and discard the seeds.  combine the sugar with the starch and zest.  in a bowl, combine the skins, the cooking liquid, the pulp and the sugar mix and stir.  preheat the oven to 350.  roll out the bottom crust, line the pie plate with   it and pour in the filling.  roll out the top crust and cut a hole in the center to vent the steam.  brush some egg wash around the edge of the bottom crust, place the top crust on with the hole centered and seal the edges.  flute the edges if desired, brush egg wash over the top and sprinkle crystal sugar over the top of the pie.  bake until boiling in the center, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  allow it to cool completely and set before cutting.

and there you  have it, scuppernong pie.  will i make it again, don't know but i would like to try making some scuppernong jam and perhaps i may even try to grow some.  and as always, if you bake it, send me a photo, i will post it here.

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