Mustang Grapes

My neighbor brought me about 10 lbs of mustamg grapes - they are small, dark, and very tart. I will do my due diligence online, but does anyone have experience with them? Any thoughts on how to process / what to make? Jelly is of course at the top of the list

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sdebrango
sdebrango July 8, 2013

Hi Abbie; I had never heard of mustang grapes before so looked it up, it seems they are primarily used to make wine. http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/mustang.asp
They say they are almost too acidic to eat straight and very sour, jam or jelly sounds good unless you want to foray into wine making.

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aargersi
aargersi July 8, 2013

Thanks Suzanne! It's looking like jam to start - I have a HUGE resource so hopefully it will be tasty and I can beg for more!!! The sites all say to be cautious and wear gloves when handling because they are so acidic - scary grapes.

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sdebrango
sdebrango July 8, 2013

Yes I read they can actually burn your mouth also, very scary grapes!!

cookbookchick
cookbookchick July 8, 2013

I once tried making jelly from wild grapes -- it didn't work at all. Maybe try to find someone with experience with this type of grape before you potentially waste a lot of time and ingredients?

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aargersi
aargersi July 8, 2013

cookbookchick - what went wrong? I have the supplies on hand so I am going to forge ahead but any insight is most welcome. I plan to clean, boil, strain, sugar, pectin and can them ...

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cookbookchick
cookbookchick July 8, 2013

It was years ago, so I'm foggy on details, but I remember a ton of crystals precipitating out of the juice. It made the juice useless. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get rid of the crystals. (Don't ask me what I tried, 'cause I don't remember!) In your shoes right now, I'd do some more research. The link that Suzanne sent you about mustang grapes foes not sound very encouraging, unless you want to make wine.

HalfPint
HalfPint July 8, 2013

There is a non-food application for the grapes. I think they will make a great exfoliator for skin. I went grape-stomping at a winery many years ago and my feet never felt so soft. If you want to try it on your skin, do a test patch first for sensitivity and don't leave on for more than 15 minutes. It's all that alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that exfoliates.

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cookbookchick
cookbookchick July 8, 2013

If mustang grapes can burn your mouth (see Suzanne's comment above) I wouldn't put the juice on my skin! Just sayin'..

jmburns
jmburns July 8, 2013

Mustang Grape Jelly has been a staple jelly in the Texas Hill Country for a long long time. They grow like a weed around here. Make your jelly and enjoy this Texas tradition. Just google mustang grapes and recipes for the jelly will pop up.

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cookbookchick
cookbookchick July 8, 2013

Hooray! Someone who knows the answer! Thanks, jmburns!

aargersi
aargersi July 11, 2013

Cookbookchick - I think I found the answer to your problem! (in finding how to fix mine which tastes great but didn't set - reprocessing this morning ;-) from Ball: For grape products: crystals were
formed by tartaric acid, a natural
substance in grapes from which
cream of tartar is made.
Allow grape juice to stand in the
refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
Ladle juice from bowl, being
careful not to disturb sediment
that may have settled on the
bottom, and strain through a
dampened jelly bag or several
layers of dampened cheesecloth.

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cookbookchick
cookbookchick July 14, 2013

Wow, Abbie!! Thanks so much for the tip! Those wild grapes are still out there and will be ready to pick by the end of summer. Maybe I will give it another try!

aargersi
aargersi July 14, 2013

I just finished my second batch (it set nicely this time) - love that stuff!!! FYI I had 6 c of juice to which I added 4 c sugar and 6 tbs no sugar needed pectin ... its tart/sweet and very grapey and good.

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