It started with an unwanted Produce Box item …
… And ended with a bake sale item.
And what if I told you it only took 5 basic ingredients? Yep — grapes, sugar, butter, eggs and flour. Muscadine jam is super easy to make, just a little messy. I enjoyed its tangy sweetness several times on toast for breakfast before deciding to use up the rest for a work bake sale.
1 pint muscadine or scuppernong grapes
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
Mason jar w/lid
Wash grapes. Pop pulp from skins into separate saucepans. Chop skins and return to saucepan; cover with about 1/2 cup water. Simmer skins and pulp in separate saucepans, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until skins are soft and pulp has broken down. Push pulp through sieve or ricer to remove seeds. (This part was a pain. If it’s easier, try removing the seeds while you’re popping pulp out of the skins.)
Combine skins and pulp into one saucepan. Taste and add sugar accordingly. Bring mixture to boil over medium-low heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking, until gelling occurs. Pour jam into sterilized jar, top with lid, and place in boiling water bath for 25 minutes. Remove jar and let cool. Refrigerate after opening.
Muscadine jam butter cookies
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
1.5 sticks (12 tablespoons) room-temperature butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup muscadine jam
1 tablespoon powdered sugar (optional, for dusting)
Preheat oven to 375. Cream together butter and sugar. Add in egg yolks one at a time, then add vanilla.
In separate bowl, whisk together flour and salt. With mixer on low speed, add flour to butter mixture in three increments, letting flour incorporate after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl when needed.
Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes. Then, take two teaspoons of dough and roll into ball. This recipe makes about 32 balls. Set dough balls about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Dust back of teaspoon in flour and press down on dough balls, flattening while making a sizable indentation.
Spoon jam into pastry bag or zip-top bag with corner snipped. Pipe jam into indentations. Bake cookies 8-10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar.
Lucky for me, there’s a mess of muscadines growing wild in my backyard. I might have to make these recipes again.