Sunday, September 12, 2010

Baking: Boiled Must Pie

Grape juice (must) is consumed fresh, or it will soon start to ferment. To be stored for the winter it has to be boiled, traditionally with ash so that all impurities will be removed in the process, and so it ends up being boiled must, which is actually a thick syrup, safe to put in bottles and enjoy all year.

In Greece we use boiled must as a sweetener in many cakes, cookies and desserts. In the old days it was used almost exclusively, along with honey, because sugar was too expensive and exotic for the masses.

A neighbour who owns a vineyard gave me a whole bottle of boiled must yesterday (!), so I couldn't wait for the weather to get really cold, I just had to start baking! Besides, I only needed a cup of it, so there's still plenty more to last...

This is the recipe I have from my mum, so I used it and thought you might like to try it yourself.


3 1/2 cups of self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp ground cinammon
1/2 tsp ground clover
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup sultanas
1 cup olive oil
1 cup boiled must
1 cup orange juice
1/2 caster sugar
1/4 cup brandy (optional)

BAKING TIME: 50', medium


Sift the flour in a large bowl and then throw in the sugar, the soda, the cinammon and the clover, mixing them all with a spoon. Make a well in the centre and pour in the liquids, i.e. the olive oil, the boiled must and the orange juice, using a whisk to blend everything into a mixture. It should be thick, but not too thick. Finish with the currants, sultanas and walnuts, add brandy to taste, whisk some more, and voila!, ready to be baked in a greased pan, of 11 inches (28cm) diameter or similar. Use a toothpick to determine if it is ready after 45 minutes. It will be dark anyway, so you can't tell by the color! Leave to cool...

...and serve!


1. I need to stress that this is probably not safe for nut allergy sufferers. But you can always leave the walnuts out!

2. You can make home-made boiled must directly from grapes, just make sure you filter any impurities out and remove the foam from the grape juice while boiling. It should be OK.



  1. Sounds very tasty. Like a perfect fall recipe with all the spices. I will definitely try this one. And it's milk and egg free without the strange replacements. Here's my question, do you think I can replace the boiled must with grape juice in any form? Because the must has a thicker consistency, you said. Mmmh.
    Thanks so much for the recipe.

  2. Thank you! I understand this liquid (the color and consistency of which is like molasses) can be hard to find, but here's what I found about the way you can make your own thick syrup:
    Alternatively, I don't see why you can't experiment using grape juice, you might have to use a little more flour or sugar, but hey, I am even curious to see what happens, so I would say go ahead and try! It will be something totally new :) Not dark, but yummy :

  3. OK, I'm excited because I found this:

    It would really be very close to the real thing!

    Good luck, and I'll be waiting for the relative post in your blog ;)

  4. Thanks so much (for the email as well). Can't wait to try it and I'll definitely tell you how it worked!
    Your blog is really inspiring!

  5. Hahaa! Thanks, but yours totally rocks!!!!! ;)