Grape Pie

The Thrifty Maker likes all things that have value and saves some bucks. Right now grapes are in season. Most supermarkets carry them year-round, but peak growing season in North America is July to December. The thinking was to buy grapes while they are in season and the least expensive before the cold blustery days of the desert winter arrives.

So the search was on for a unique recipe to cook grapes as an alternative to popping them in the mouth raw.

The recipe you'll find after the jump is for grape pie, made in honor of the Chow Bella Pie Social happening this weekend. It tasted fine but was really like a jam inside pie crust, very sweet and a little runny. The staff here at Chow Bella all felt it should have been made with a peanut butter pie crust and served like a PB and J. Next time. Well there may never be a next time since this wasn't exactly a hit but hey -- sharing failures is good, too.

Get the recipe after the jump -- if you like to eat grape jam you'll love it!

• 2 cups of flour (plus more for surface)
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 3/4 tsp salt
• 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
• 1/4 cup ice water
• 1 1/2 pounds Concord or black grapes, stems removed
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 cup sugar
• Pinch of Salt

1. Make the dough first. Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor, pulse a couple times. Add in the butter, and process until mixture is crumbly. With the food processor running, slowly add ice water until mixture hold together. Roll dough into two balls. Wrap separately in plastic, and refrigerate for one hour.
2. Next make the filling: In a medium saucepan over high heat place the grapes and lemon juice. Cook until grapes release their juices, about 15 minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Strain through a colander (you'll end up with 1 1/2 cups juice)
4. Return juice to saucepan over high heat, stir in sugar, tapioca and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat and simmer for another 10 minutes.
6. Transfer filling to a bowl, and let cool, stirring occasionally.

7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick

8. Line a pie pan with parchment paper
9. Transfer one of the doughs to the pie pan
10. Trim edges flush with tart pan.
11. Using a frosting tip or a straw, cut holes in dough to create vents.

12. Refrigerate both the top and the bottom until firm, about 15 minutes.
13. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour the filling into the pie tin, already covered in the bottom dough.
14. Slide the top dough onto the pie. Press edges to seal, and trim excess dough.
15. Bake pie for 45 minutes

Let cool and serve (Consider serving with a dollop of peanut butter)

Here is what to look for when shopping for grapes: They should be plump, with smooth unbroken skins, and be firmly attached to the stems. Green grapes are at their sweetest. When you spot grapes that are covered with a whitish cloudiness know that it is actually a natural protection against loss of moisture.

How to store grapes: keep them in a plastic bag, they can be refrigerated for three to five days days, always rinse just before eating them.

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Cyndi Coon
Contact: Cyndi Coon