Grape Pie Season

Grape Pie Season

There are a few fall indicators I look too every year—besides a drop in temperature and falling leaves. One is the way plants look so ragged and tired, their now yellow and crisp, their fruits getting smaller, flowers blooming on ever-shorter stems.  Another is the sign that I do have gophers and they’re getting ready for winter in a most annoying fashion, mainly by eating my Echinacea and roses.  A subtler indicator is a http://www.veridianinc.com sense of stillness that fills the air, even when the wind is blowing. It’s more like breathing and sighing than the destructive idiot winds we usually have.

There are more signs, like the quince turning yellow. But most important is that it’s time for grape pie. Concord grape pie.  Either purple or green Concords will do, but don’t mix them. It’s not so pretty. 

Long one of my favorite desserts, I am sure to make a grape pie at least once each fall.  If there aren’t many grapes, it might be a tart, rather than a pie. If grapes are plentiful you might see a full blown double crusted pie on my table. If I can’t deal with making a crust, a crisp will have to do and it does do nicely.  In any case, this is a dessert worth making and something of an old-fashioned American one, too.  My father, and Iowan, is the one who taught it to me, and mid-westerners know a thing or two about pies.  Choose your favorite pie dough, enough for a top and bottom. Here’s how the filling goes:

 

2/12 to 3 pounds Concord grapes

½ to ¾ cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

grates zest and juice of 1 lemon

 

Wash the grapes as you’ll be using the skins as well as the pulp.  Slip them out of their skins by squeezing them into a saucepan and set the skins aside in a bowl.  Simmer the grapes until they turn white and the seeds loosen, after 5 to 10 minutes, then pass them through a food mill to maglie calcio poco prezzo separate the seeds, working directly into the bowl with the skins. Return the pulp and the skins to the pan, add ½ cup of the sugar, the flour, and lemon zest. Cook to dissolve the sugar, then taste and add more if needed. Stir in the lemon juice and let the mixture cool for about 15 minutes. Use now or refrigerate or freeze the filling to use later.

Preheat the oven to 400’F.  Pour the cooled filling into a pastry-lined pie tin and cover with a second crust.  Join the top and bottom, flue the edges, then brush some beaten egg yolk over the top.  Use the tip of a knife to etch a decorative design into the dough, then cut a whole in the top for a vent.  Set the pie on a cookie sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 350’ and bake for another 35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove and let cool before serving with cream or a piece of aged Cheddar or Gouda cheese.

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