Polk County High Schools Exceptional Children's program has supplied us with an abundance of green and purple scuppernongs. The vines are never treated with pesticides and you get the full flavor of these wonderful southern delicacies.
We all know the wonder of eating scuppernong straight from the vine (or bag) or as jelly on a hot buttered biscuit; now I give you a pie recipe that is generations old. Give it a try and experience the flavors of those who settled Polk County.
Tom’s Scuppernong Hull Pie
To make the filling, place about 8 grapes at a time in a stockpot or deep mixing bowl. Use a potato masher to squeeze grapes, a few a time. The pulp (containing seeds) should be squeezed out. Transfer the hulls to a mixing bowl. Leave the pulp and any juice in the stockpot as you squeeze more grapes. Continue to mash all the grapes. You should have about 4 1/2 cups of hulls.
Pour the pulps and juice through a fine strainer. You should have about 1 cup of juice. Add enough water to the juice to make 2 cups. Reserve pulps for another use.
Combine the hulls, juice, and water in a clean stockpot over medium heat. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
Add sugar to the hull mixture. Simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes. The hulls will look like preserves. The mixture will be thickened and syrupy. Remove from the heat and cool completely. The filling can be made up to one day ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator.
As the filling cools, make the piecrust. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Use a pastry blender to cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Sprinkle in ice water and stir just until all the flour is damp. Gather into two equal-sized mounds and wrap each mound in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
(Or use pre-made crust)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Working with one mound at a time (leaving the other mound in the refrigerator) roll out dough on a floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim the dough overhang to 1/2 inch. Pour the cooled filling into the crust. Roll out second dough mound on a floured surface to 12-inch round and place on top of the filling. Trim the edges to 1/2 inch. Press the edges of the dough together, fold edges under, and use 3 fingers to flute the edges.
Whisk together egg and 2 tablespoons of water. Brush the top crust lightly with egg mixture. Use a very sharp, small knife to cut slits in the center of the crust for the pie to vent.
Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the crust is browned, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes: 1 (9 inch) pie
From: Rebecca Lang Cooks, LLC