Posts Tagged ‘grape’

Grape molasses

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

It doesn’t seem so long ago…

Raisins

…that I was looking for a way of using all these grapes. I first read about grape molasses on Joumana’s blog, Taste of Beirut, and it was Vita of Cretan Gastronomy who gave me the recipe.

Like the rest of Vita’s blog, this was in Greek, but I wasn’t going to let a mere language barrier stop me making this healthy sweetener… With a pinch of advice from Vita in English and a glug of Google Translate, I soon had the simple ingredients and method sorted.

One word raised some momentary doubts about the accuracy of the translation: did the recipe really call for ash…? Vita assured me that what was needed was wood ash, which is used to clarify the juice and thereby avoid using the traditional eggshells.

Jus de raisins 3

Start by extracting the juice from 2 kilos of grapes. I used the centrifugal juicer for this, as a masticating juicer would crush the pips and make the juice too thick and sticky. Put the juice in a saucepan with a tablespoon of wood ash (I had carefully removed this from our wood-burning stove). Bring the juice to the boil and skim off all the foam that rises to the surface.

Jus + cendres

Let the juice settle for 24 hours, then strain it through a coffee filter, leaving behind the deposit at the bottom of the saucepan. I was left with just over a litre. Pour this into a clean saucepan and reduce over a low heat until it starts to thicken (I ended up with about 200ml).

This was the result: molasses with no added sugar but retaining the iron and potassium in the grapes. It keeps well in the fridge and can be used to sweeten yogurt or drinks, or to replace sugar in baking. I’ll definitely be making more next year.

Mélasse