Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
Southern Muscadine Pie
Peaches are long gone, but we are happy to welcome the grapes of the south! The rich sweetness of muscadines make it particularly great fruit to bake with and if southerners are good at anything, it’s making pie. Skip the jam this year, and try this Garden & Gun muscadine pie recipe.
- 25–30 muscadines
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅛ tsp. ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. ground allspice
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1½ tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1-2 recipes pie dough (the second is optional for a double-crust pie)
To prepare the grapes: Separate muscadine skins from pulp. (Squeeze each grape to release the pulp into a bowl. Reserve the skins in another bowl.)
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook pulp over medium heat (gentle simmer) for 10 to 15 minutes. The grape pulp will begin to break down, become translucent, liquify, and slightly reduce. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Use a blender on low speed to help thin out the pulp for straining. Blend for one minute or less. With a bowl underneath a fine-mesh sieve, pour blended pulp to save juice and strain seeds. Discard the seeds. Reserve the strained juice. You will need 1 cup and 2 tbsp.
Use a food processor to pulse skins into smaller bits or cut into smaller pieces by hand with a chef’s knife. Reserve processed skins. You will need 1 ½ cups.
For the pie: In a pitcher, combine strained grape pulp and skins; stir well.
In a bowl, whisk the sugar, spices, salt, flour, and cornstarch to combine.
Pour half of the juice and skin mixture into the dry mix. Stir this well and pour into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Reserve the remaining juice/skin mixture for later.
Over medium-low heat, use a spatula to gently stir and thicken the grape mixture. Aim for a slow simmer and frequently stir the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking and scorching. The color will brighten to a beautiful purple and the filling will be quite thick.
Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice, vanilla, and the reserved skins and juice to the pot. Stir well. Cool filling before baking.
Pour filling into a blind-baked crust, cover with your favorite streusel topping or fold a second layer of prepared dough with decorative cut-outs over the top, brush with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is brown and filling is bubbling. Cool for at least two hours before slicing. Serve at room temperature.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.