Muscadine Pie

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Muscadine Pie
Courtesy of Jeanie Blethen
1 ½ lbs. dark muscadines (about 4 cups) 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp. salt 1 Tbsp. lemon juice 1 ½ Tbsp. butter, melted 2 9-inch, unbaked pie crusts
Preheat oven to 400°F. Separate the skins from the pulp by holding the grape stem-side down and squeezing. Set skins aside. In a small saucepan, bring the pulp to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Allow pulp to cool, then press through a sieve to remove the seeds. (Note: This is one of the most difficult parts of cooking with muscadines; Blethen recommends using a food mill.) Chop the skins and boil in water until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and add to the pulp. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, flour, and salt. Add lemon juice, butter, and muscadines, and stir. Grease a nine-inch deep-dish pie pan and line with crust. Add the filling. Cut second crust into strips to create a lattice topping. Brush with beaten egg. Bake for 10 minutes at 400°F. Reduce heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 30 minutes. To avoid over browning crust, cover edges with foil. (Note: Rather than a lattice topping, Blethen likes to prepare her crust more decoratively. Using an eight-inch pie crust, trim the pastry dough and place in center of pie, so to create a purple ring between inner and outer crusts. With the extra dough, roll it into 10 little balls. Dip the bottoms into water and push into the center crust to form a grape cluster. Brush with beaten egg, and follow cooking instructions. When done, garnish with a muscadine leaf.)