I made two peach pies about a month ago for a couple of friends. One was a peach melba with a lattice crust, and the other was a plain peach with a classic double crust. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take pictures of either pie, so I decided to make another lattice pie for the blog. While poking around to see what fruit was in season (I’m clueless), I saw a recipe for a concord grape pie. I was instantly interested and decided to try it. I had a bit of trouble finding concord grapes in the store, but I did find Thomcord grapes at Trader Joe’s.
Thomcord is a seedless grape that’s a blend between Thompson and Concord. With the grapes problem solved, I was ready to settle in the kitchen and make the pie. Until I read the method. I was supposed to peel every single grape. All two pounds. Oy! My lazy gene went into high gear and I scoured the web looking for other alternatives to peeling grapes. Thirty minutes later I was peeling grapes and squeezing pulp into a medium pot (no luck finding a better alternative). There was a bit of confusion trying to figure out whether or not I was supposed to add the skins to the pie or not. Since I already started straining the pulp with the skins, it was impossible to remove the seeds. I decided not to worry, and forged ahead adding the sugar and tapioca.
Pouring the filling into the crust was very interesting. My filling was about as thick as cream and I tried not to slosh it all around while pouring it into the pan. Adding the lattice crust was also interesting because the filling was so thin and runny, my strips kept sinking as I was trying to weave! I placed the pie very carefully on a sheet pan, put it in the oven and hoped for the best. When I took it out 50 minutes later, I was happy to see that it was bubbling in the center, just like my other fruit pies and it wasn’t runny at all. I let it cool for a while then cut a slice for sampling. It tasted like grape jelly with pie crust! I laughed out loud after I had a few bites because I couldn’t believe the flavor. I imagined it having more of a sweet and tangy kind of flavor, but no, this was pretty sweet. Then I remembered, I didn’t actually use two pounds of grapes in the pie, but I used the full amount of sugar for the recipe. Oh, well. I still liked it. Actually, I grabbed a jar of peanut butter and slathered it on top of the crust. Yum!
Concord Grape Pie
For the filling
- 2 lbs . concord grapes , stemmed
- ¾ –1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp . quick-cooking tapioca
- 1 tbsp . unsalted butter , cut into small pieces
- Your favorite double pie crust recipe
Make the filling
Slip pulp of each grape out of its skin into a medium saucepan, put skins into a large bowl, and set aside. Cook pulp over medium heat, stirring often, until soft, 8–10 minutes, then strain into bowl with skins, pressing on solids with the back of a spoon. Discard seeds. Set aside to cool completely. Stir sugar and tapioca into grapes and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400°. Roll the larger dough ball out on a lightly floured surface into a 12" round, then fit into a 9" pie plate. Transfer grape filling to pastry bottom and scatter butter on top. Roll the remaining dough ball out on the lightly floured surface into a 10" round and cut into 1-inch strips. Arrange 6 dough strips in 1 direction across top of pie, spacing apart. Working with 1 strip at a time, arrange 6 more strips in opposite direction atop first, lifting strips and weaving over and under, forming lattice. Gently press ends of strips to edge of baked bottom crust to adhere. Trim overhang. Bake pie for 20 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350°, and continue baking until pastry is golden brown, 45–50 minutes more. Set pie aside to cool completely.
Adapted from Saveur