September celebrates N.C. Wine and Grape Month, and in North Carolina, that is a lot to celebrate. The state is home to 180 wineries and 525 grape growers.
Hot and dry summer conditions in some parts of the state this year have produced a bumper crop of grapes. Since Muscadines are in good supply at the farmers market, it’s a great time to bring out a classic recipe for grape tarts from the 1989 Goodness Grows in North Carolina Cookbook.
This recipe was provided by the N.C. Grape Growers Association. Try it with muscadines or scuppernongs. How do you tell the difference? Remember that all scuppernongs are muscadines but not all muscadines are scuppernongs. The scuppernong grape was first discovered along the Scuppernong River in North Carolina, with the original vine located on Roanoke Island. The scuppernong variety of muscadines are bronze in color.
- 1/2 cup grape juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 cup seeded grape halves
- 6 baked tart shells
- 1 cup whip cream
- 6 grapes
Combine juice, sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in cornstarch dissoved in a small amount of cold water. Add grapes; mix well. Simmer until grapes are soft, stirring constantly. Spoon into tart shells. Top with whipped cream. Garnish with whole grapes.
Each tart has about 352 calories.
Last year, we made a grape pie using a mix of red and bronze Muscadine grapes. This recipes is a little more complicated than the tart recipe above, but the pie is worth the work.