Thu 12 Aug 2010
Grapes are very versatile little gems. You can eat them off the vine, turn them into jelly, make them into juice, or even better make them into wine (hurray for wine!).
Pie has the same adaptability. Pie can be sweet, or it can be savory. It can have one or two crusts, or like shepherds pie have no crust at all. You can bake a standard pie in a pie pan, a stand alone hand pie, or a free form galette.
So why, my dear readers, in all their versatility, do grapes and pie not go together?
Part of me imagines some great all-knowing baker from the days of yore announcing, “Grapes are grapes and pie is pie, and never the twain shall meet,” in the style of Rudyard Kipling. Maybe this baker of yore had good reasoning, grapes are a rather juicy fruit, maybe they would cause a pie to be too wet and not set up properly. But then peaches are juicy, and they make a fantastic pie.
Either way, grapes and pie did meet. Their union was a wondrous thing.The grapes retained their structure, my piece of pie was sweet but not too cloyingly so, and the prize winning pie crust made for a beautiful lattice top. If you’ve never had grape pie before (or heard of it either) let me assure you, there is “greatness in grapeness” (thanks Mister) when it comes to pie!
I made grape pie with my cousin Ginger (Hi Ginger!) on one of my days off. We got together in the kitchen and between playing with the baby and eating pizza sandwiches for lunch we tackled quite a list of recipes we wanted to make:
(adapted from Bon Appetit, September 2008)Ingredients
Not-So-Secret Pie Crust, enough for a double crust pie
5 Cups red seedless grapes
1/2 C sugar
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 Tbsp grape juice concentrateDirections
- Place your grapes in a colander and rinse well with cold water. Shake them (in the colander) to get remaining water off.
- Remove the grapes from the stems, and discard the stems.
- Halve the grapes. All of them. (This job is tedious, but it allows the fruit to retain most of it’s shape, which I felt was important. The original recipe chunks them up in a food processor.)
- Place the grape halves back in the colander set over a large bowl. Allow them to sit until a little less than a cup of grape juice drips out of the cut surfaces. (I was impatient and squished the grapes a little bit. Patience is a virtue, but not always one of mine).
- Pour the grape juice into a cup, and enjoy your treat! It was so tasty.
- Pour the grapes into a bowl, and add the sugar, cornstarch and grape concentrate. Mix it all up with a spoon to coat the grapes.
- Roll out the bottom crust of the pie, and put it into the pie pan. Pour the filling into the pie crust.
- If you want a lattice crust, like I made: Roll out the pie crust and cut it into strips about 3/4 inch thick. Weave the strips together into a lattice top. I like to make a cross and then work outwards with subsequent strips.
- If you want a solid top, roll out the pie crust as per usual.
- Bake in a 375° F oven for 40-50 minutes, our until the crust is golden brown and the grape juices bubble.
- Let cool and slice up!
This pie is a juicy one! You really need to let it cool, if you cut it too soon it will become a puddle quite quickly. In a rush, I was driving to my next destination while the pie cooled, and so got grape pie juice all over the towel it was resting on (luckily I brought a towel).
Try something new! A combination you never thought of before! Maybe grape pie!