I am notorious for getting overly excited about little things: Chipotle’s guacamole (life changing!), the seasonal aisle in CVS, and walking barefoot on a patch of lush, green grass, just to a name a few. But, nothing gets me more excited than grape pie! “Grape pie?” you ask. “I never knew there was such a thing.” Well, neither did I until the summer of 2006.
It was during a summer visit to my boyfriend’s (now husband’s) parents’ house, that I was first introduced. My boyfriend’s mother, Judy, explained to me that her neighbor gave her the recipe, after she asked her what on earth she could do with all of the wild concord grapes from their vine. If you like concord grape juice or jelly, even in the slightest, you will love this pie. It is equal parts tart and sweet, its filling has the deepest, most beautiful purple color, and it is divine with a scoop (or three) of vanilla bean ice cream.
There is no argument, this is one labor-intensive pie. But, it is worth the effort, and then some. Depending on which region you live in, concord grapes ripen between August and October. We purchased our grapes this year at a large, chain grocery store. If you don’t see them, ask an employee in the produce department if they’re available. One year, a grocery store special ordered them for us; all we had to do was ask. So, go. Make this pie. Your taste buds will thank you.
For the filling
-3 cups of concord grapes
-2/3 cup of sugar
-3 tablespoons of flour
-1 tablespoon of butter
-1 tablespoon of lemon juice
-One pie crust (We usually buy store bought, but if you’re ambitious, go ‘head and make it yourself.)
For the crumb topping
-1/2 cup of flour
-1/4 cup of sugar
-2 tablespoons of butter
1. Wash, drain, and de-stem the grapes
2. Remove the skins from the grapes (Just squeeze the grapes, and skins easily come off). Put pulp into one bowl, and the skins in another (you’ll be using the skins in the pie).
3. Simmer pulp for 10 minutes (do not add water)
4. While the pulp is still hot, press through a sieve and remove the seeds. (This part stinks, but stay with me. Eye on the prize, folks.)
5. Combine strained pulp with skins, and simmer. Combine sugar and flour and add to grapes.
6. Blend in lemon juice and butter.
7. Cook to thicken as pie filling (approximately 10-15 minutes), and pour into pie crust.
8. Combine ingredients for crumb topping, and sprinkle on top of the filling.
9. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, and then at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.