Concord Grape Pie

History - One of my coworkers grows grapes and with all of the rain from Tropical Storm Lee causing his Concord grapes to split, he gave me a bucket of them to see if I could make some jam and pie with them. Which I did. The flavor of the pie is Concord grape jam in a crust. It's very sweet. Add a scoop of peanut butter ice cream to it and you'd have a pie a la mode version of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The consistency of the pie is excellent. There is lots of gooey fruit filling inside with just the right balance between too thin/water and too thick/gelatinous. If you like Concord grapes, you won't go wrong with this pie.

I found the recipe in "The Pie and Pastry Bible." I used a modification of the all-butter crust from the cookbook, swapping in four tablespoons of vegetable shortening for four of the tablespoons of butter. It tends to give a crust that is flaky without having "cardboard bottoms" and without giving up the flavor that comes with butter.

Rating - okay

Ingredients - filling

Instructions - Use your favorite pie crust recipe. Some good examples would be the cream cheese crust in the apple crumb mini-pie recipe or an all-butter crust from the pumpkin mini-pie recipe (you'll have to scale them up for a 9 inch double crust pie). Roll out the crust between two sheets of floured plastic and then put into the pie pan, folding under the overhang. Roll out the top crust likewise and keep both covered with plastic in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Remove the skins from the grapes by pressing them between your thumb and forefinger. Put the skinless grapes in a medium saucepan. Reserve the skins in a small bowl. Bring the skinless grapes to a boil and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Press the grapes through a fine sieve and discard the pits. Add the grape peels and all the remaining ingredients. (You'll have about 1 1/3 cups of pulp - add everything else and you'll have about 2 cups + 2 tablespoons.) Transfer the filling to the pie shell. Moisten the edges of the pie crust with water and attach the top crust, crimping the edges to seal the crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to prevent the crust from shrinking while baking.

Preheat the oven to 400F with a rack in the bottom third of the oven with a pizza stone or baking sheet on it. Cut six small circles in the crust to act as vents. Place pie on the pizza stone, protect the edges with a pie ring, and bake for 30 minutes at 400F and then reduce heat to 375F and bake an additional 25-30 minutes until the filling is bubbling out of the vents thickly (go by the filling bubbling, not by the time - bake it longer if you have to). Remove and cool for at least 3 hours before cutting.

Storage

Room temperature - okay
Refrigerator - good
Freezer - unknown

This pie stores like most fruit pies - a day or two on the counter before the molds go to town, longer in the fridge at the expense of crust texture. I suspect it'll freeze like most fruit pies.