Moustalevria is an old-fashioned Grape Pudding made out of Grape Must. A very sweet treat with earthy and warming flavors!
This budget-friendly dessert is made simply out of flour, cornstarch, Grape Must, honey or Grape Molasses, and cinnamon for flavoring. On top, it is garnished with ground nuts either walnuts or almonds, and sometimes even sesame seeds. Plus extra ground cinnamon.
In some islands in the Aegean people also add Mastic to flavor it. While in other areas of Greece, they add Lemon Geranium.
Moustalevria or Grape Pudding is a dessert made in other Mediterranean countries as well such as Italy, Spain, and even in Cyprus where they call it Palouzes.
Adding Grape Molasses
Grape pudding can be made with Grape molasses instead, mixed together with some water. Grape Molasses is in fact Grape Must that's been reduced down to a thick syrup. So if you see a Grape Pudding that's darker red in color it's because it is made with Grape Molasses.
In this recipe, we're using only a small amount of Grape Molasses (just 2 tablespoons) and that's optional as you can use honey instead of it. It will enhance the sweetness of the pudding and its color slightly.
I don't like using too much Grape Molasses as the flavor becomes way too sweet and strong for my liking. But you can always give it a go and see what you like best.
How To Make
Grape Pudding is made on the stovetop in just a few minutes. To make it you mix some of the grape must together with the flour and cornstarch to form a paste. Then pass this paste through a fine mesh sieve to remove any flour lumps.
Then heat the remaining grape must with the honey (or grape molasses), and the cinnamon, and gradually add the flour paste to it to thicken it.
The only thing you need to do is stir with a whisk until the pudding thickens. Keep the heat to medium-low and be patient. It won't take more than 20 minutes.
You will know it's done as it will feel very gelatinous and thick when you stir it inside the pot and when you hold the whisk it will still be a bit runny. You can test by adding a small amount with a teaspoon on a plate so you can see how thick it gets as it cools.
Transfer to small bowls and allow to cool and thicken at room temperature. Then refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
To make Moustalevria last longer people sometimes would sun-dry it (no one goes into trouble doing this anymore). They would simply pour the mixture into a pan and then placing a mesh net on top, they let it sun-dry for a couple of days. It would get firm this way and the flavor much stronger. Then they would keep it for up to a year in a dark cupboard.
An alternative to sun-drying is baking. You can pour the Grape Pudding into a pan and bake at a low temperature until it gets really firm. Just keep the temperature low at around 120 - 140 °C (250 - 285 °F).
Moustalevria is always served with either ground walnuts, almonds, or sesame seeds. If you do go into trouble toasting the almonds or sesame seeds the final flavors will be most rewarding.
And since this grape dessert is pretty sweet it goes perfectly with a cup of strong Greek coffee or espresso. Enjoy!
Greek Grape Pudding (Moustalevria)
For The Grape Pudding:
- 1200 ml (5 cups) Grape Must see here how to make at home
- 2 tablespoons honey or Grape molasses
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 10 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- ground walnuts, toasted ground almonds or toasted sesame seeds
- ground cinnamon
- Mix together the flour and cornstarch in a mixing bowl.
- Gradually pour one cup of the grape must into the flour mixture whisking constantly. Add it slowly to form a paste first, breaking any flour lumps, and then continue adding to form a runnier paste.
- Pass the flour mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
- In a cooking pot add the remaining 4 cups of grape must together with the cinnamon and honey (or grape molasses whichever one you are using).
- Heat the mixture over high heat until steamy hot (not boiling).
- Turn heat to medium-low and slowly add the flour mixture while whisking constantly.
- Continue to stir until the pudding thickens. It will take a couple of minutes so be patient.
- Once thickened pour it in small bowls and allow to cool at room temperature.
- Refrigerate for 4-6 hours and serve with any of your preferred nuts and some ground cinnamon.