Is it wrong to buy a house based around grapevines?
When we bought our current home seven years ago, I’m sure some family members scratched their heads. It didn’t seem like the most practical move considering the house was slightly smaller and had only one full bath compared to our previous house. BUT THERE WERE CONCORD GRAPEVINES IN THE YARD! Sold. Where do I sign?
Concord grape pie, concord grape jelly… Hmmm. Yep, the buck pretty much stops there. The possibilities aren’t exactly endless when it comes to concord grapes, but if you have ever tasted homemade concord grape jelly or pie, you will understand why we financed 30 years of our life away to eat them. Plus, I grew up with concord grapes in my yard. Maybe my own kids will fondly remember their own grapevines when they grow older instead of our stopwatch-timed showers.
Now, if you don’t live in Fruitopia-land where you just walk out your door and pick some lovely grapes in the fall, some stores and u-pick orchards do carry them this time of the year. When you see them, grab them, and worry about logistics later.
If you have never cooked with concord grapes before, the pie is definitely the easier way to go. Compared with the time-consuming weekend process of making grape jelly, concord grape pie is a walk in the park. Once you have your pie crust, the filling is really easy to throw together. In fact, I rarely just make one, and instead double the recipe to freeze one for later. Then, in the dregs of our Midwestern winter, I’ll bake it so I remember why I committed to so many cold showers.
- 6 cups washed, de-stemmed concord grapes (about 2 1/2 lbs. with stems on)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, I substituted Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
Preheat over to 400ºF.
Slip skins from grapes. You just give them a little squeeze and the inside pops right out. Save skins in one bowl, and throw grape pulp in a medium saucepan.
Bring pulp of grapes to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and immediately pour through mesh strainer into a bowl to separate seeds from pulp. Press and stir so ALL the pulp is extracted into the bowl. Scrape the bottom of the mesh strainer occasionally to get the pulp from there too. When you are done you should be left with pretty much only the seeds, and you won't be able to get anymore pulp out. Discard seeds.
Place butter into bowl of hot pulp and let it sit for a few minutes until it melts. When butter is melted, add and whisk in lemon juice, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. Stir the reserved skins into the pulp mixture.
Spoon mixture into the unbaked pie shell and prepare the streusel topping. Mix all ingredients together until butter is well incorporated. Sprinkle topping over pie filling.
Bake for 40 minutes or until filling is hot and bubbly all over. Cool for at least an hour before serving. I like to serve it slightly warm with ice cream.