September is wine and grape month and, in North Carolina, that means there’s a lot to celebrate. With a $1.7 billion economic impact, 525 grape growers and more than 180 wineries, North Carolina has a strong reputation as a wine and grape region.
How do we suggest celebrating wine and grape month? We like this list by the N.C. Wine Guys, which includes visiting a local winery. Another way to celebrate is to visit a pick-your-own muscadines location. They are in season now. Below is a recipe provided by blogger Wendy Perry using ripe North Carolina muscadines. This recipe was done for UNC TV’s Flavor NC. For more recipes by Perry, check out her blog on the South’s native grape.
“Don’t be intimidated by using muscadine grapes for crisps, cobblers and pies,” Perry said. “It’s a simple process that takes just a few minutes of time to cut into and remove seeds with your fingers… but so worth the time and effort! Every North Carolinian needs to be sure and make muscadine desserts… the flavor will have you asking “why haven’t I done THIS before?”
- 6 cups grapes
- ¼ cup sugar*
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
For crumb topping:
- 30 small gingersnap cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
- Pinch sea salt
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
To prepare grapes: Over bowl (to capture juices), cut grapes in half (scissors work best) and push seeds out with thumb. Toss grape halves (hull and pulp) and juice into bowl. Stir in sugar and flour. Mix well and put mixture into prepared baking dish.
Put all topping ingredients except butter into food processor. Pulse until cookies are roughly chopped. Add butter and continue pulsing until incorporated and the mixture is crumbly.
Scatter crumbs over grape mixture. Bake about 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbly. Baking time will vary a bit depending on depth of baking dish.
*If grapes are super ripe and sweet, you might use a bit less sugar.
This recipe will do best in 9×9” or 11×7” baking dish.