In fall in Western New York, you can smell the grapes in the air if you drive past the vineyards with your windows down. Growing up there is probably why making grape pie is one of my annual late-summer traditions, like canning peaches and making apple crisp. My grandpa made it almost every year and I think of him every time. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized how few people have ever heard of this deliciousness.
Basically it looks like blueberry pie and tastes tart, like a cross between sour cherry pie and grape jelly. So good.
Here’s the recipe and then I’ll go step by step:
Concord Grape Pie
9″ double crust pie crust
2 pounds concord grapes (about 4 or 5 cups)
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
A pinch of salt
Pick the grapes off the stems and squeeze the pulp out of each grape into a medium saucepan, saving the skins. Cook down the grape pulp until it is soft and the seeds are starting to separate, then strain through a sieve to remove the seeds. Combine the grape pulp, skins, sugar, tapioca, flour, lemon juice, and salt. Pour into pie crust, add top crust, flute edges, and cut slits in the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, until the juice starts bubbling out the sides and the top crust starts to brown. Note: you can add another tablespoon of flour if you don’t want the pie to be very juicy.
Start by washing the grapes and taking them off the stems. (I was making two pies, so the grapes in this picture are double what you’ll need.)
The most time consuming part of the whole process is probably squeezing the pulp out of each grape, but it really doesn’t take too long, especially if you do one in each hand.
Place the pulp in a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat until they are soft and starting to separate from the seeds. You’ll want to stir occasionally but it shouldn’t take more than ten minutes to boil them down.
Use a sieve to strain out the seeds, and then discard them.
Unless you know something amazing to do with grape seeds.
Add all the other ingredients and stir until combined.
Press the bottom crust into the pie pan and pour in the filling.
Fun trick that I ALWAYS do with my top crusts. Cover a large dinner plate with saran wrap and then press out your top crust on it (I just use my hands, no rolling pin necessary). Then carefully turn the plate over onto the pie, remove the plate and peel off the saran wrap. Flute the edges and cut one inch slits to allow the steam to escape.
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the juice comes bubbling over the sides (and making those burning splattering sounds on your oven floor) and the top crust starts to brown.
Sadly, you’ll need to let the pie cool before diving in. But then enjoy (try with ice cream)!