We are solidly in fall and, more importantly, fall TV. Scandal turned me inside out, The Mindy Project and New Girl make me giggle, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine is pleasantly surprising me. I should probably be a little ashamed of how much TV programming I watch, but I'm just gonna own it. I'm much more apt to binge-watch a new show than watch a couple of movies, even if they take the same amount of my time. I just... I like short-form media. Is that a thing or did I just make it up? (I totally made it up.)
I did not make up muscadines. They are beautiful Southern grapes. With very large seeds. And they make some sweet, sweet wine. Not that I know anything about that.
I do know about the beautiful syrup they make.
It couldn't be easier. Muscadines, a little sugar, and some allspice.
Break down the muscadines in a pot with a little water. I used a hefty wooden spoon and a potato masher alternately. I think they both work just fine. The skins are thicker than on your average grocery store grape, so it can take a little work. Bring the muscadines and water to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer for 10 or 15 minutes.
Strain the juice from the solids with a fine mesh strainer. This is a good time to use that wooden spoon or potato masher to get all the grape-y goodness.
It's a beautiful, fragrant juice, and you could stop here if juice is all you want.
But me? I want syrup. So in goes the little bit of sugar and the allspice. The allspice isn't strictly necessary, but I love the warm feeling it gives me. Return the juice mixture to the pot you used earlier. Bring it to a boil then turn the heat down and let it reduce by about half.
It thickens a little as it cools, and you're left with a sweet, fruity syrup.
It's pretty divine over bleu cheese. I think you can use this just about anywhere you'd use fig preserves. If you made a crostini with goat cheese and walnuts with a drizzle of muscadine syrup...well I could never be mad at that.
Muscadine Syrup (makes about 1/4 cup)
1 lb muscadine grapes
1/3 c water
1 tbs sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp allspice
- In a medium saucepan, break up muscadines with a wooden spoon. Make sure all the skins are broken. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let it go for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain the liquid into a bowl with a fine mesh strainer. Get all that juice!
- Return the juice to the pot and add the sugar and allspice. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the mixture reduce by about half. Pour into a heat-proof glass or dish to cool.
- Drizzle over cheeses and serve with crackers. Or heck, mix it into a cocktail!