Grape 'Cheesecake', Crispy Oat Cookie, Vermouth and Grape Jelly
Published December 6, 2017
The first time I ate grapes in France is seared into my memory. I had arrived in Paris at the height of grape season, a fresh-faced, naive, young(er) Canadian who had simply forgotten (or never known) what real grapes taste like. The markets were bursting with local varieties, many of which I had never even heard of. I carefully selected a beautiful bunch of Muscat grapes, their skins as black as the night sky.
Their fresh bright-green stems looked nothing like the dried brown stalks I was used to plucking this fruit from. It was love at first bite: sweet-yet-fresh juice-filled orbs with snappy, tannic and textural skins worth chewing on. One thing did require getting used to: the (gasp) seeds! But while they are a bit annoying, I've learned to eat around them, because it's worth it. Fresh French grapes are the real deal and I wouldn't trade them for all the seedless grapes in the world.
This recipe was inspired by my love of French grapes, my love of cream cheese and my love of cheesecake. Feel free to substitute Concord grapes for the Muscat – any smaller red seedless variety will do, if you must. There are a number of steps, but you can do some of them in advance.
Link to the recipe here.