28. Concord Grape

This pie was a long time coming. As I’ve mentioned before, my obsession with pie is prompted by the memories of making it (and eating it) with my Grandmother.  It’s an association I cherish and celebrate with every bite of pie.

There is no pie I associate with my grandmother more than this one.  We used to call it sweatin’ pie, because people would claim the strong flavor made their noses start to sweat.  It’s so very unique, and so very delicious.  I was skeptical the first time I ate this pie– but, like most people that have the fortune of eating a grape pie, I got over that skepticism with the first bite.

The labor that goes into this pie sounds more daunting than it actually is. The most difficult part is actually finding concord grapes.  I search for them every time I go to the store.  It’s a marvel of a pie, and worth every second.

Concord grape pie tastes kind of like concentrated concord grape juice… except fresh, warm, gooey, thick, and wrapped inside a wonderful flaky pastry crust with partially caramelized sugar on top.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5-2lbs concord grapes, washed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 pie crusts
  • 3-4 Tbsp starch/minute tapioca

Take each grape and push the grape out of the skin into a saucepan.  Save the skins in a bowl.  This is time intensive, but they pop out of the substantial skins easily (just make a small incision with your fingernail and push the grape flesh out).

Heat the grape flesh for a few minutes over the stove until soft and mushable.  Put through a sieve, placing the pulp/juice with the skins and discarding the seeds.  Stir in the sugar and tapioca or starch.

Fill the pie crust, and cover with an additional one.

Sprinkle the top generously with sugar, and cut venting slits.

Bake at 350F for about 35 minutes, until the top crust is lightly browned.

 

 

 

Normally I’m all for eating pie immediately, but this one needs some setting time (after all, it is mostly juice).  Otherwise you will have crust and grape soup. This is not bad, but doesn’t slice as well.  I recommend eating this with vanilla ice cream.  It really benefits from the cream contrast.

I didn’t wait sufficiently long to dig in to the pie. But if you’ve ever had Concord grape pie, you’ll forgive me. The sacrifice of a beautiful picture was worth it.

 

Every bite is an explosion of flavor.  I love this pie.

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