Grape pie.

Why don’t I bake more pies?  I’m not really sure.  I used to buy pies often… but they weren’t particularly great pies, and I stopped doing that.  I thought, why buy a pie when I know I could bake a tastier one?  But I never started baking them—the pie recipes kept getting pushed to the back of the recipe box.

I don’t know why, I mean, I love pie.  Like, love love pie. I guess I just forget about it with all the chocolate chip cookies that I do bake and all the great chocolates that I buy from the local shops.  And all the stewing hens and heirloom pork for that matter.

So why was it that, on a very rare occasion of pie-making, I decided to make grape pie?  To tell you the truth, I have no idea.  I like a thrill?  I’m a sucker for oddities?  Or maybe I just figured: if I mess it up, at least I’ll get points for originality.

The end project was just what I was looking for:  a buttery, flaky crust, jam-like filling, and an overall effect of “weird-tasty.”  It takes you a bite or two to get used to grape pie—the immediate thought is that you are eating jelly-pie, but once you get used to it, the grape really works with the golden brown crust.  It’s also not overly sweet, something I really desire in a pie, and I’m sure it would work wonders with a good ice cream.

The recipe, from Bon Appetit magazine, uses red seedless grapes, since concords aren’t widely available.  Next time though I may try the concords.  Also, since red seedless are less mushable that concords, I would chop up the grapes in the food-processor to a near puree instead of leaving them in pieces—creating an even more pronounced jelly taste.

My favorite part of this recipe was the crust—it had no sugar besides what you sprinkle on top and the taste of butter was, mmmm…. drool.

I think I may start baking more pies after all.

Grape Pie

from Bon Appetit Magazine//Sept. 08

For the crust

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

For the filling

  • 8 cups stemmed seedless red grapes (about 2 1/2 pounds; preferably organic), rinsed well, patted dry
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons frozen grape juice concentrate (made with Concord grapes), thawed
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
  • Raw sugar

For the crust
Blend flour and salt in processor 5 seconds. Add butter. Using on/off turns, blend until most of butter is cut into 1/4-inch pieces (mixture will resemble coarse meal). Add 2 1/2 tablespoons ice water. Using on/off turns, blend until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough into ball. Divide in half; shape each half into disk. Wrap; chill at least 1 hour.

For the filling
Place half of grapes in processor; using on/off turns, chop into 1/3- to 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to large sieve set over large bowl. Repeat with remaining grapes. Drain off and discard 1 1/2 cups grape liquid.
Whisk 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in another large bowl to blend. Mix in drained grapes and grape juice concentrate.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 9-inch pie dish with nonstick spray. Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 13-inch round; transfer to dish. Brush dough edge with egg glaze. Fill with grape mixture. Roll out second dough disk to 12-inch round. Top pie with dough; trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Roll edge under; crimp. Brush top of pie with glaze; sprinkle with raw sugar. Cut several slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.

Bake pie until golden and juices bubble thickly, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool at least 30 minutes.