House made wine is delicious, best I like the varieties on Western Crete, especially the rustic “Romeiko” wine. This wine has a strong fruity taste with a sherry taste touch, but it not sweet.
After the harvest and the pressing of the grapes, some of the juice is used to prepare this gelatinous pudding made with grape must, flour, corn flour or starch, sesame, walnuts, almonds and cinnamon.
There are many variations of this recipe. Possible additions to the cream for the flavor are rose water, vanilla, cloves, mastic and vanilla.
Alternative to corn starch are flour, whole wheat flour and semolina.
You need (serves about 12):
- 8 cups fresh grape juice
- 1/2 cup sugar, to taste ( depends on the quality of the grape juice)
- 8 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 rose-scented geranium leaves (optional)
- cinnamon, roughly crushed roasted almonds or walnuts and sesame seeds
- In 2 cups of grape juice, dilute the corn starch, whisk well..
- In a large pot pour the rest of grape juice.
- Add the leaves and bring to boil.
- Boil for about 30 minutes at low temperature.
- Remove leaves
- Add the diluted corn starch and keep stirring.
- Boil until entire mixture is creamy for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Spoon the cream into cups or plates. You can place some walnuts between two layers of cream.
- While is still warm sprinkle with remaining walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds and cinnamon.
- Set to cool. Cover with plastic wrap before placing in refrigerator.
Note: I gave you the recipe as I prepared it home. I used the grapes of my garden (fox grapes; Vitis labrusca). The strong taste of this grape made the addition of the flavors unnecessary.
Clarifying of grape must: Traditionally the grape wood was made with wood ash to reduce the bitterness of the wine and remove the impurities from the must. If the grapes were very ripe and sweet, the addition of ash or baking soda is not necessary. How to use the wood ashes: (please, pure wood, no paper no other additions!) Boil must with ashes, let sit overnight, strain and let sit for a few hours again, strain again. I this way you will remove the grape sediment as well as the ashes completely! I did NOT use the ashes.
Clarifying variations: using egg shells, chalk, some kind of clay and limestones (http://www.tasteofbeirut.com/grape-molasses-debess-ennab/)