Friday, August 10, 2012

Canning Muscadine Juice (Mama's Easy Way)


Muscadines are a wild grape (for you who are not familiar with them) that grow all over the Southeast. Growing up in Western N.C., we picked muscadines in September and Mama made juice... really more like a "juice cocktail" that was so easy to make and SO good to drink!

Here in the Midlands of S.C., at least in my yard, we have a muscadine variety that ripens earlier than I'm accustomed to... last summer was our first summer in our new home and we missed the muscadines (birds ate well!) because I was in denial that they could be ripe in July! Well they are and we picked a few recently (many are way to high up and I haven't found a way to get to them just yet... birds may beat me to them again, but I'll get the lower ones!)

Anyhow, here's how I made my juice

I heated my quart jars and lids and boiled a big pot of water...

Then...

In each hot quart jar I put...


One cup of grapes (rinsed well)

And...


One half cup of sugar

Then...


I filled each jar to within a half inch of the top with boiling water.

I tightened my hot lids and rings onto the jars (I gave them a little swish and shake to make sure the sugar dissolved)

Then I processed the jars in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.

Mama always canned this juice in half gallon jars (so if you're fortunate enough to have half gallon jars, double the amount and go for it!) My brother still cans this juice every September, and in the same tradition as Mama, he doesn't let anyone open a jar until Thanksgiving! We always have Muscadine Juice on Thanksgiving.

The juice does need to sit for at least two months so the juices and sugar can blend... it starts out a pale barely pink color, but within a few weeks begins to darken to a gorgeous deep ruby red. And it's so yummy!

When it comes time to drink the juice, we strain out the grapes and enjoy the yummy juice!

We have always made this from our local wild muscadines, but the same method can be used with any grape... and maybe other fruits. Dunno, never tried it!

Muscadine Juice after sitting for a week... it will continue to
darken and strengthen the flavor.

44 comments:

  1. When it is time to drink the juice, do you also eat the grapes?

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    Replies
    1. We usually just strain them out. ~~Granny

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    2. iv heard that the grapes are good in plain yogurt

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  2. WOW i'm in Fayetteville NC and I am trying this ASAP! TYVM.

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  3. There are some in the stores now but it will be a while yet before they are ripe here.

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  4. Granny, when I was younger I always remember my daddy making muscadine (we pronounce it muskedime...lol) jelly and wine! This was my favorite jelly growing up! I live in Rhode Island for now but can't wait to get back down south to (hopefully) get some of this jelly!

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  5. This spring we transplanted a muscadine plant from a rental property to our yard here at home. It had NOT been taken care of at all so there were lots of trimmings. Now we have 1/2 doz trimmings that rooted and the Momma plant is doing fabulous! Might have to wait until year after next for grapes though.......Maybe I will go out and fertilize tomorrow to give that Momma plant a little incentive.

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  6. Here in Wisconsin we have wild grapes growing all over! Are these what you are referring to? Ive never heard them called this. I make my concord grape juice this same way & would love to try doing the wild grapes!!

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    Replies
    1. No, I don't think muscadines grow in Wisconsin, they're pretty much a Southeastern only grape, but I'm sure you have your own wild grapes and any variety of grape would work with this recipe. ~~Granny

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    2. thanks, i will give em a try. I might need to use more sugar. I stumbled upon your blog and absolutely love it! Im gonna try a few of your recipes!!

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  7. haha, granny poor, haha

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  8. cannot wait to do this! I have been given access to someones vinyard and I can pick all I can stand to have. Making jelly now but this juice is on my list gotta go back and pick again!!

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  9. Loved seeing the reference to Western North Carolina! I have been here my entire life (far west NC!!) Just found this website and have recommended it to friends. Love it!!!

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  10. I found this in an old book a few years ago..i have concord grape vines..i do this so simple and fast..sometimes i use splenda instead of sugar ,,turns out fine

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    Replies
    1. My suggestion (as a health coach), stick to sugar over artificial sweeteners. (Due to the major insulin response caused by the artificial sweeteners). My two cents. Enjoy the juice...making mine right now! :)

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    2. My suggestion (as a health coach), stick to sugar over artificial sweeteners. (Due to the major insulin response caused by the artificial sweeteners). My two cents. Enjoy the juice...making mine right now! :)

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  11. How long would you process this in half gallon jars? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I would do 25-30 minutes for half gallons. ~~Granny

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    2. Would you still only put in a cup of grapes? Or maybe double the amount of grapes and sugar? Looks so good and easy. This would be a great idea to do in the fall and then in the winter break out the juice and make your juice.

      Love your site and FB page also. Thanks for all the great recipes and information.

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  12. I assume this would work for Scuppernongs too? Do you bruise the grapes at all or just put them in whole but clean? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it would work for any grape. I've done it both ways, bruised and whole... doesn't seem to make much difference in the finished product. ~~Granny

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  13. I wonder- once you drink it, can the strained grapes be turned into fruit leather? Hmmm...

    SB

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm... don't see why not. ~~Granny

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  14. I used this recipe for some back in 1989 and still have 2 jars I can't stand to think of opening. A gentleman who passed away in 92 let me and my(young then) children pick them. We used many jars but when I found these I just couldn't resist putting them back on the shelf for another year. Still sealed and refreshing looking. Waxhaw,NC

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  15. What a neat way to get the juice! Tried first time today. Many of the muscadines 'popped' after processing and some released seeds/pulp. Will it just require straining when open or will it affect the taste? Regardless, it's so simple, and I didn't find any other websites that did it this way. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. It's normal for some of the grapes to pop... will actually add to the intensity of the flavor, and easily strained out after opening. ~~Granny

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  16. Could you maybe use honey instead of sugar?? Just trying to think of a self sufficient sort of way for doing this or maybe just omit the sugar all together??

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    Replies
    1. You could use honey instead of sugar... I'm thinking since it's more of a juice cocktail, it might not be good with no sweetener at all. ~~Granny

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  17. What about with cranberries. Cranberry juice is so pricy around here. I would probably crush them some first.

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    Replies
    1. Mmmmm... yes! Cranberries would do great! May have to make some myself now! ;) ~~Granny

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  18. could I cover them with water and boil to make juice for jelly?

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  29. Hi Granny!

    I tried this with half-gallon jars, and I put up six gallons. It was sooooo easy! I brought 3 gallons to the annual party, and ohmygosh it was SOOOO GOOD!!!

    This is a truly spectacular beverage!

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