15 Mar Moskonfyt – a little history and a recipe
All who attended the Harvest day went home with a little jar of moskonfyt from the 2010 vintage. Here is a little information on this traditional product and a recipe for you to try out from our restaurant.
Moskonfyt, or grape must jam, has been made since the days of the beginning of the old Cape. Quite logically, it started being produced as soon as the cape started producing grapes. Grape must is the mixture of pressed grape juice, skins seeds and pulp. This mixture is reduced down until it has the consistency of light syrup.
The reduction of grape must goes as far back Ancient Rome when it was commonly used as a cooking ingredient. It was boiled down in lead or bronze kettles into a milder concentrate called defrutum or a stronger concentrate called sapa. It was often used as a souring agent and preservative, especially in fruit dishes. To quote form Wikipedia,
Pliny the Elder recommended that defrutum only be boiled at the time of the new moon, while Cato the Censor suggested that only the sweetest possible must should be used. Both writers advised against the use of bronze or copper kettles, as the metals would react with the acids in the defrutum and give the finished product an unpleasant metallic taste. The preferred vessels for boiling and storing defrutum were made of (or lined with) lead, which leached lead acetate crystals into the must when it was boiled, progressively sweetening the mix.” There is an argument to suggest that the continued indigestion of small amounts of lead, which leads to infertility and high infant-mortality, was one of the main causes in the decline of Rome.
You can all rest assured that not a bit of lead came anywhere our mosconfyt.
The South African version is, as the name suggests, more like a jam and can be used in a variety of ways.
- The easiest, and possibly most tasty it to smear it over home-cooked bread straight out of the ovem.
- French Toast with Moskonfyt!
- Smoorsnoek with moskonfyt on rice is a typical Cape Malay dish.
- The sweet and at the same time slightly acidic flavour complements most fish.
- Try moskonfyt with sweet potatoes or use it as a base for crème brûlee.
Here is a recipe provided from our Restaurant.
Frozen Van der Hum & ‘Moskonfyt’ Bombe
500ml whipping cream
¾ tin sweetened condesnsed milk
60 ml moskonfyt
Melted dark chocolate, for decorating
1. Whip cream until it forms soft peaks.
2. Add the condensed mil and whip for another 30 seconds
3. Stir in the moskonfyt and Van der Hum and pour the mixture into a bowl, which has been lined with clingfilm.
(this helps the unmoulding).
4.Cover with additional cling wrap and freeze for 6 hours, or overnight.
5. Just before serving, unmould the bombe on to a serving platter, remove cling wrap and pour melted, cooled chocolate over the top, allowing it to run down the sides in little streams.
6. Serve wedges with your favorite biscuit…maybe a thin orange wafer style, or even a brandy tuille. Can garnish with some chocolate shavings/pencils and berries.