My lovely friend Kathleen S. grew up 15 miles from Silver Creek, NY, where they still have the annual Festival of Grapes during the concord grape harvest in September, complete with grape stomping, pretty-baby contests, and Jr. Miss, Little Miss, and Miss Festival of Grapes pageants. She shared a grape pie recipe family-friend Audrey C. made every year during the festival. Here’s that recipe, along with my favorite vintage grape filling recipe that I like to use for grape tarts.
Makes Tart recipe makes 1, 9-inch tart; Pie recipe makes 1, 9-inch pie
Grape Tart Ingredients
- 9-inch crust recipe for lattice-topped tart (below)
- 3 1/2 cups Concord grapes
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp each, fresh lemon juice, fresh orange juice
- 2 tsp grated orange zest (optional)
Grape Pie Ingredients
- Your favorite double-crust pie crust recipe
- 5 cups Concord or “Freedonia” variety grapes (enough to have 2 1/2 cups of “skins”)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp fresh-grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp butter
Tart Pastry for Lattice-topped Tart Ingredients
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) ice-cold unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 to 4 Tbsp ice-cold cream
- Make Tart: Prepare tart crust. Whisk flour and sugar together in a large, shallow bowl. Cut butter in to dry ingredients. Whisk yolks with cream and stir in until mixture can be squeezed together into soft dough. Spread table with parchment or plastic wrap; divide dough into 2/3 sized piece and 1/3 sized piece. Flatten each into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour. Roll out bottom crust. Butter tart pan. Fit bottom crust into tart pan and refrigerate. Roll out top crust and cut into strips. Refrigerate top crust strips until filling is ready.
- Pick over and rinse enough grapes to fill 3 1/2 cups. Pinch grapes individually to “slip” the skins off of each grape. The grape innards will pop right out. Save skins in one bowl; save grape innards and juice in a second bowl.
- Pulverize the skins in a food processor until liquified. Set aside.
- In a small pan over medium heat, heat grape innards until boiling . Reduce heat and simmer until the seeds easily separate from the grape pulp. Over a bowl, drain the pulp/juice through a sieve. Pick out the seeds and discard; force the remaining grape pulp through the sieve.
- In a medium pan over medium heat, combine sugar with cornstarch and salt. Stir in the grape pulp, juice and pulverized skins juice.
- Stir constantly until boiling; cook three minutes. Remove from heat.
- Stir in citrus juices and (if using) orange zest.
- Scoop into chilled tart shell. Arrange chilled top crust strips in a lattice and crimp edges. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown.
- Make pie: Prepare pie crust. Fit bottom crust into pie pan and refrigerate top crust.
- Pick over and rinse enough grapes to fill 5 cup measure. Pinch grapes individually to “slip” the skins off each grape. Save skins in one bowl (you should have 2 1/2 cups of grape skins–adjust to get the right amount) ; save grape innards and juice in a second bowl.
- Partially pulverize grape skins in food processor until roughly chopped. Set aside.
- In a small pan over medium heat, heat grape innards until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until seeds easily separate from grape pulp. Over a bowl, drain the pulp/juice through a sieve. Pick out the seeds and discard; force the remaining grape pulp through the sieve.
- Mix sugar, flour, salt and nutmeg with grape pulp and partially pulverized skins.
- Pour filling into pie shell; dot with butter. Top with top crust. Cut slits in crust. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes; then reduce to 375 for 20 minutes longer.