Scuppernongs and Muscadines are native to the Southeastern US, meaning that around here you can buy them at the farmer’s market on any given weekend. I’ve heard people say that you can forage for them, but haven’t seen any growing wild myself. Since I’m new to the area and don’t know where to go pick them (yet!) I bought this batch from the farmer’s market. Scuppernongs are slightly sweet and tart, while muscadines have a very rich, deep sweeter grape flavor. Both are big and juicy and burst in your mouth when you bite into them, and their delicious flavor lingers after you’ve finished eating. I couldn’t resist them when I saw them at my first Florida farmer’s market, although I quickly learned that they have big seeds and bitter skins, which can make them challenging to eat by the handful. Inspired by a recipe I found on Auburn Meadow Farm’s site, I decided to get to work pickling my grapes!
This trip to the market, they had muscadines (the red grapes, as opposed to scuppernongs, which are green) so this recipe worked perfectly. Thanks to my busy schedule this week, I didn’t have time to go to the store to pick up mustard seeds and white wine vinegar (which are in the original recipe) but that gave me the chance to experiment with other ingredients I did have. It definitely changed the flavor from the original recipe, but I think it turned out very well–the grapes have a perfect pickle-y bite and the warm spices help deepen their flavor. Next time I have all the ingredients I plan on making this as per the original recipe to compare–these grapes are so tasty it’s definitely worth making time and again!
1 pound muscadine grapes
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick (2 1/2 inches)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sea salt
-Rinse and dry grapes, halve them, and remove the seeds. Place grapes in a bowl.
-Place coriander, peppercorns, and cinnamon in a saucepan and toast them until they are fragrant.
-Add vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, and salt and bring to a boil.
-Immediately pour the mixture over the grapes, and set aside to cool.
-Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (you can also pour the grapes and brine into jars before popping them in the fridge).
You can also find this recipe on Punk Domestics!