O, I wish I was in the land of cotton
Old times there are not forgottenLook away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.
This fruit with the funny name is a staple for making jelly at granny's place and happens to be my all-time-favorite homemade jelly made by granny.
Scuppernongs are wild grapes (a type of muscadine), similar to green grapes in texture and taste but much, much plumper. They can range in color from light green to bronze; the resulting jelly varies in color accordingly. She found her vines growing wild many years ago and transplanted them to the side-yard next to her garden. They are prolific producers every year and require very little effort on her part. Beyond making sure they were trained to grow along the trellis (two posts about 8 feet apart with a sturdy wire running between them) and the occasional watering they do their own thing and reward her year-after-year with a bountiful harvest. They are not very cold tolerant (thriving where temperatures rarely go below 10 F) so many northerners have never heard of them, but the southern folk know and they sure do make use of them. Everything from jelly to wine is made from this lovely fruit. You can eat the fruit whole as well, there's some debate among southerners as to eating the skins but nothing says you can't and that's where most of the nutrients are. The seeds on the other-hand you'll either have to swallow or spit out. We children loved having spittin' contests with these, similar to watermelon seeds but not quite as hefty. ;-) If granny ever made wine from them I don't recall it, I just know she makes some heavenly jelly.
If you should be lucky enough to find yourself in the way of some scuppernongs (or scuppanons as nanny calls them) I'd encourage you to scoop them up and give granny's jelly a try.
Granny's Southern Scuppernong Jelly
Several pounds (3-4) of scuppernongs (enough to yield about 5 cups of juice when done)
2 cups of water
2 tsp lemon juice (granny uses the bottled kind for convenience)
1 pack of fruit pectin (low sugar or no sugar work best)
6 1/2 cups of granulated sugar (this is not a diabetic-friendly recipe)
potato masher or something similar to crush the fruit with
mason/canning jars - granny uses pint size jars
water bath canner or a large pot and canning rims to process the jars in
- wash and de-stem the scuppernongs
- place in a boiler with the 2 cups of water and bring to a rolling boil. As the fruit/water is heating crush the fruit with the potato masher to release the juices. The more you crush the more juice will come out. Once at a boil, reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 10 minutes.
- strain the mixture through a mesh sieve/strainer to remove the large solids. You can then process through a food mill if you like but granny just strains hers through a cloth made from an old (well bleached) cotton sheet.
- reserve 5 cups of juice (if you don't have quite enough you can simply add some water or even white grape juice if you prefer)
- prepare your canner and jars. If you don't have a water bath canner you could use a large stock pot as well, simply put some jar rims on the bottom of the pot before filling with water. You'll place your canning jars on top of the rims to keep them from sitting directly on the bottom of the pot.
- measure out your sugar and set aside
- in a large pot/boiler combine the juice, pectin and lemon juice and bring to a rolling boil - the sort you can't stir away.
- add the sugar in one dump and return to a full boil for 1 minute
- remove from heat and ladle into canning jars leaving 1/4" of headspace
- wipe the jar rims, add the lids and rings and process in the canner at a boil for 5 minutes (or adjust for altitude should you need to)
Voila, you've just made some scrump-diddly-iscious scuppernong jelly the southern granny way.
Granny makes hers with good ol' granulated sugar, I haven't tried it with a sugar substitute like Splenda but if you should, please let me know how it turns out.
this post may have been shared at one (or all) of these wonderful blog hops!
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Lil' Suburban Homestead's From the Farm Hop