Concord Grape Pie
The earthy flavor of Concord grapes is showcased in this old-fashioned pie. Be forewarned that the grapes must be skinned and stained to make the deep purple filling, but with an extra pair of hands (kids love this chore, especially as the skinned grapes look slightly macabre), it goes very fast. Some recipes make you wonder if the extra effort was worth it. Not this one, which will surely become a new favorite. Serve it with store-bought peanut butter swirl ice cream, and your guests will literally swoon–mine did.
  • 2 1/2pounds concord grapes
  • 2/3cup sugar
  • 1/4cup instant tapioca, ground to a powder in a spice grinder or mini-food processor
  • 2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
  • pie dough for a 2-crust pie(your favorite recipe)
  • Ice cream, preferably peanut butter, for serving
  1. To make the filling, remove the grapes from the stems; you should have 5 heaping cups. You may have leftover grapes. Pinch each grape to slip the green flesh out of the purple skin. Reserve the flesh and skins separately. Drain the flesh over a glass bowl, reserving the grape juice.
  2. Bring the grape flesh and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook the grape flesh, stirring often, until it softens, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the grape juice in a 2- to 4- cup glass measuring cup on in a microwave oven on High powder, taking care that the juice doesn’t boil over, and boil until the juice is reduced by half, without about 5 minutes. (Cooked in a microwave, the juice will reduce without caramelizing. You can also reduce the juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat, but be careful that it doesn’t burn. Or skip this step altogether, and add 1/4 cup water or bottled white or purple grape juice to the filling.)
  4. Transfer the grape flesh mixture into a coarse-mesh wire sieve set over a medium bowl. Using a rubber spatula, rub the flesh through the sieve, discarding the seeds. (This will take some elbow grease.) If you have a food mill, use it with the finest disk to hold back the seeds.) Stir in the tapioca, reserved skins, lemon juice, and reduced grape juice. Cool completely. Stir in the butter.
  5. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. (This makes for easier cleanup, as the pie is likely to give off juices when it bakes.)
  6. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out half of the dough into a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Fit into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim the crust flush with the edge of the pan. Spread the filling in the crust. Roll out the remaining dough into a 12-inch circle, and center on top of the filling. Tuck the top crust underneath the bottom crust. Using a fork, press the two crusts together to make a tight seal. Flute the edges of the crusts, if desired. Pierce a center vent and few slits in the top crust in a decorative pattern with the tip of a small knife.
  7. Place the pie on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the filling can be seen bubbling through the center vent, about 45 minutes. Do not underbake—the filling must come to a full boil to thicken completely. Transfer to a wire cake rack. Cool completely. Serve at room temperature.