Monday, September 22, 2008

Me Oh My, I Love Pie

With the fall season upon us, baking pies become more and more of a craving of mine. In general, I love to bake pies. During the fall season the temperature begins to get cooler, the leaves start to change, and a series of fun, family filled holidays approach us.

Maybe it's because it's apple picking season, maybe it's because Thanksgiving is only a few months away...maybe I just now have an excuse to bake pies. Either way, fall = pie baking season for me. In my family, I'm the designated holiday pie baker. My specialties include the classics: apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, blueberry pie, strawberry pie....

Last night I decided to try something new. I'm lucky enough to be employed by a company that provides fruit for us twice a week (nice healthy snack to keep me going throughout the day!). At least one of those shipments includes grapes. It got me to thinking: Can you make a grape pie? I've certainly never seen one...

It actually turned out really well! Very delicious - I highly recommend trying it! Here is the way that I went about it...try it and let me know what you think. FYI, for my first attempt at grape pie I did not use my substitution-to-make-healthy method. I'll try it again in a few weeks, healthy-style, and will let you know what I think!

Jen's Pie of the Vine

2 pounds Seedless Red Grapes
2 TBSP Blue Bonnet (Butter-Oil Spread, stick form)
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 1/2 TBSP Corn Starch
1/8 tsp Salt

2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2/3-1 stick Butter
3 TBSP cold water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with the wire rack placed in the middle.

For the crust: The ingredients above account for two pie crusts. I chose to make a lattice top for my pie - you could also do a full crust topped pie. I also made each crust separately to make sure the consistency is correct. Below is how I made each of the two pie crusts used.

Cut 2 TBSP Blue Bonnet into small cubes. Combine with 1 cup Flour with Blue Bonnet by pinching the pieces of butter into the flour. Add the water 1 TBSP at a time until you get a pie dough consistency. Use up to 3 TBSP of water per pie crust.

Create a ball out of each combined pie crust and place in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow to cool.

When cool, roll out each ball individually between two pieces of waxed paper.

Place back into the fridge for 20-30 minutes until the rolled out dough sets. Take one rolled out dough piece and remove one side of the waxed paper. Flip onto the pie tin. Remove other side of waxed paper & fit the dough into the pie crust. Keep the second piece of pie dough in the fridge.

For the Filling: Cut the grapes in half and place into medium sauce pan over medium heat.

Allow to cook until grapes are hot and simmering. Use a colander to drain the juices out of your hot grapes. Place the grapes back into the sauce pan, over medium heat.

Cut 2 TBSP Blue Bonnet and mix into grapes. Add salt and cinnamon and combine mixture entirely. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool 5 minutes.

When cool, scoop all filling into the pie tin containing one of the pie crusts. Remove second pie crust from the fridge and remove one of the pieces of waxed paper. Replace waxed paper and flip the crust. Remove other waxed paper (by doing this, you're loosening the dough for easier use). Cut the dough the long way into thin, 1/4-1/2 inch strips to use to make lattice.

Bake pie for 30 minutes at 425 degrees, turning 1/2 way through (ovens may vary...bake until crust is light brown). Remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve with low-fat vanilla ice cream (or the ice cream of your choice) and enjoy!


Tracy said...

Your pie looks so beautiful! I wish I could have my crust look as nice as yours! I've never heard of a grape pie before, but it certainly sounds delicious!

Jennifer said...

Thanks! Lots of practice...I can tell you how I do the edges if you like...there is a really easy trick to it. Actually...not a bad blog post idea haha. Anyway, let me know and I'd be happy to share!

Tracy said...

Sure! Any tips you have would be awesome. I'm all ears!! Thanks! =)

Andi of Longmeadow Farm said...

I second it, your pie looks wonderful, delightfully full of grape pleasure and certainly a very special pie. Now I just have to figure out if I can use the abundance of concord grapes that I have and just de/seed them. Will let you know how it turns out using your instructions! yipee! Thank you and lovely blog!


Jennifer said...

Alright, lets see if I can explain. Next time I make a pie I'll post about making the crust and show pictures along with the description...

With the bottom crust, once you have it in the tin, pinch the edges up so that all the excess serves as a rim on the top of the edge of the pie pan. If you're using a top crust or a lattice like I did, place the top on after you add the filling & pinch the edges into the ridge that you made with the bottom crust.

Then to make the wavy affect: take your pointer finger and your thumb of your left hand, placing them on the inside of the pinched ridge. Next, use your right hand pointer finger to push in (on the outside of the crust rim) while you left hand pointer & thumb press out. Go along the entire ridge doing this so that you eventually get back to the original impression you made. As your left hand thumb and pointer finger go along, the thumb always goes into the impression of where the pointer finger was last - does that make sense?

I promise to post pics soon too :) It works the best if your crust is malleable rather than crumbly...

Tracy said...

Oh you make it sound so easy! LOL. Thanks, I'll definitely give that a try. I can see another pie coming up in my future so I can practice. Thanks!

Jennifer said...

Hi Andi! Thanks for the compliment.

With concord grapes, I believe you can pinch the pulp out of the skins. Here's what you do to de-seed them:

Separate the pulp from the skin by pinching it out. Cook the pulp until simmering as described in my recipe. Before adding anything else, strain the cooked pulp with a strainer big enough to allow the seeds to go through. When the seeds are out, place the pulp back into the sauce pan with the skins and allow to cook a bit longer. Then continue on with the recipe.

I used red, seedles grapes particularly because I didn't want to deal with the seeds...but I think concord would be really good too!

Maggie said...

I've seen this done with concord grapes but they have seeds and so I never wanted to try it. The crust looks beautiful!

Jennifer said...

Thanks Maggie! I explained in another comment about how to do it w/the concord grapes (how to get rid of the seeds) but it actually turned out fantastically with the regular seedless red grapes.

Somehow I mastered crusts along the way...thanks for the compliment :)

Curtin said...

Grape Pie . . . brilliant!

I would comment further but i know nothing of baking.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother used to make the best grape pie. My great grandma, when she passed left her house to my grandma, which included her grape vines. My grandma would rent the house out to various tennants but only on one condition- she could come over and pick the grapes. This was a family tradition. When my grandmother passed the family fell apart. Hopefully with this recipe we can get our family back again. If only for one pie.

Thanks for posting this recipe.

Jennifer said...

My pleasure...let me know how it goes.

Dan said...

Making this for thanksgiving today. Didn't see when to add the cornstarch. I'm guessing it's with the cinnamon and sugar.