Muscadine Jam with Fines Herbes

Muscadine Jam with Fines Herbes- Putting Up with ErinMuscadine Jam with Fines Herbes- Putting Up with Erin

When I started this blog post the plan was to give a very brief history of muscadine grapes, their health benefits, and their history. One wiki search later and I quickly realized, “oh man, there is a lot to learn, and love, about these medium-sized, funny textured grapes!” So, where to start?

“Of the bounteous store of natural gifts… upon the soil of North Carolina few have been more celebrated than the muscadine grape…” Discovered (not really as it was already growing in nature) in 1755, the muscadine grape (commonly referred to as a scuppernong) was first cultivated in North Carolina. Much less common than your typical market grapes, muscadine grapes offer a wealth of nutrition from bowel regulating (think fiber), to weight management (think fiber again), and rich in antioxidants. “One study… found that muscadines are a particularly good source of ellagic acid…. appears to inhibit cancer cell reproduction… Muscadine grapes also contain twice as much vitamin C as seedless grapes.”

Muscadine Jam with Fines Herbes- Putting Up with Erin

The Saturday before last, preparing for music in the park I grabbed a quart of these grapes from the local food coop. I wasn’t exactly thrilled by their tart taste or gooey consistency, but rather than tossing them I figured it better to do some research on how to preserve them. Like most people, I had only heard of the notoriously sweet muscadine wine and of course, jelly/jam. My chef friend Jonathan recommended I pair these grapes with the French Haute cuisine herb combo. of parsley, tarragon, chives and chervil, otherwise know as Fines Herbes. I couldn’t find any chervil in my local grocer so I substituted fresh basil from my garden. Viola a low sugar, sweet and herb’y muscadine jam. Enjoy this jam with cheese and crackers or reduced down to a glaze for any desired meat dish.

Muscadine Jam with Fines Herbes- Putting Up with Erin

Muscadine Jam with Fines Herbes

Yield: 3-1/2 half pints

Ingredients

  • 3-1/2 pounds muscadine grapes
  • 1-2/3 cup white sugar
  • 3 Tbsp powder pectin
  • 1/6 cup lemon juice
  • 4 tsp fresh minced Fines herbes (1 tsp of each: tarragon, chervil (or basil), parsley, chives)

Instructions

  1. Rinse muscadine grapes.
  2. Score each grape slightly on the non stem side of the grape and squeeze the flesh and seeds out of the hull into a pot or bowl. Remove stems from grape hull and place skins/hulls in a separate pot.
  3. Combine 1/2 of herbs, grape flesh/pulp, and seeds in a non-ionized pot and cook over medium heat until they start to break down. You may want to use the backside of a fork to further mash/break down.
  4. In a separate pot, cover the hulls with just enough water to keep them from sticking to the bottom. Once soft, puree the hulls in a food processor/immersion blender.
  5. Once the grape flesh is soft run all the flesh and seeds and herbs through a food mill (or cheese cloth) to dispose of the seeds. Do the same with the blended hulls.
  6. Combine the seedless flesh/pulp with the macerated hulls. Add the remainder of the fresh herbs, lemon juice, and pectin. Bring mixture to a boil, add sugar and boil until it gets 220 degrees.
  7. Ladle jam into jars, wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight) then process jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Turn of heat and let sit for an additional 5 minutes in canner.
  8. Remove jars from canner and let cool on a folded towel for 12-24hrs.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Lil' Suburban Homestead.


4 responses to Muscadine Jam with Fines Herbes

  1. This is great! You asked me at the grocery store about flavor pairings, and I’m glad you found one, and that I can now follow your blog! The other mix I found was a bourbon muscadine sauce with cinnamon that sounds amazing, in Garden and Gun. Cheers!

  2. Links: Fridge Pickles, Muscadine Jam, and a Winner - Food in Jars

  3. So glad to see someone else working with our wild grapes. One note, we call the purple ones Muscadines and the green ones Scuppernongs, even though I think they’re really the same thing. In my opinion, the Muscadines tend to be more acidic, especially the skin. I made some Muscadine jelly (from SIX pounds of grapes I got three whole half pint jars!) and it was very time consuming, so I’m interested in this jam. What’s the set like on the jam? I prefer a stiffer set; do you have any tips for how to achieve it? Thanks!

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