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Food from Many Greek Kitchens
by Tessa Kiros
Moustalevria (Grape Juice Pudding)
You can make this from red or green grapes - muscats would be lovely. But the type of grapes you use are very important for the color as well as the flavor. Here I have used Concord grapes, Which give an amazing intensity of color and taste.
The best way to extract the juice is to put them through a juicer, and bear in mind that you may need more or fewer grapes, depending on how much juice they have..
This can also be served in small bowls as a pudding, in which case use a little less cornstarch. Moustalevria is traditionally a worker's food, given to those who help with the harvest, so it is most often eaten in September.
Makes about 15 squares
• 2¾ pounds seedless Red Grapes
• 1 tablespoon Sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
• 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
• 1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds
Blend the grapes in a blender or food processor until liquid and sieve out the skins, or pass them through a juicer. If you can't get seedless grapes, you will have to use a juicer. You will need 3 cups of juice, so you can drink any left over.
Put the juice into a pot, bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, skimming the surface of scum with a slotted spoon. Add the sugar and cinnamon halfway through. Put the cornstarch into a cup and stir in 3 tablespoons of cold water, mixing it until smooth. Gradually stir this into the simmering grape juice. Whisk over low heat until it has thickened a lot to a creamy pudding, about 15 minutes.
Scrape into a rectangular dish of roughly 7x5 inches and level the surface. Cool a little before scattering with the sesame seeds. Cool completely and refrigerate overnight before cutting into squares.
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