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This year I wanted to make some new and different holiday desserts! Thanksgiving or Christmas wouldn’t be complete without an Apple Pie, and I love desserts like cheesecake, but I wanted to try something I’d never made before, like this Grape Pie.
For years my family and I traveled to my mother’s house in Pennsylvania for the Thanksgiving weekend. And every year we’d drive through the Finger Lake wine country around Naples NY. In the village of Naples there are always signs along the road for Grape Pie, which is a popular local dessert made with Concord grapes. So this year I was inspired by a recipe at Amazing Ribs and made some mini Grape Pies.
It turns out the dessert is a little time consuming to make, mainly because you have to peel the grapes to separate the skin from the pulp. While that seems intimidating the peels actually slide right off when you pinch the grapes. The peels are a deep purple and the pulp inside is green. It took me about 20 minutes to squeeze all the grapes and separate the peels.
Once that step is done the rest is easy. The pulp has to be boiled for a few minutes, and then strained to remove the seeds. Then boiled and strained pulp is mixed with the grape skins, tapioca and sugar and the filling is ready to go. Most Grape Pies use a floating crust or a lattice crust so that the pretty purple grapes shine through. I used a cookie cutter to make an autumn leaf top crust that floats on top of the grape filling. I made mini pies, mainly because I wanted to use the maple leaf cookie cutter and it was the perfect size for covering the mini pie tins.
Before I made the pies I was concerned that they would be too sweet. They kind of look like grape jelly in a pie crust, and that would be way too sweet! So I did decrease the amount of sugar in the original recipe, and they were delicious and not too sweet at all. The pies had a delicate grape flavor and made the entire house smell amazing. They are very rich though, and we found that even with mini-pies half of the pie was plenty for dessert.
- 6 c. Concord grapes
- 2 T. instant tapioca
- ⅔ c. sugar
- Your favorite pie crust
- Squeeze the grapes to separate the skin from the pulp, and put in separate bowls.
- Put the pulp in a sauce pan and boil for 5 minutes.
- Put the boiled pulp through a strainer to remove the seeds.
- Combine the pulp with the grape skins and add the tapioca.
- Refrigerate the mixture for a few hours.
- Roll out a pie crust and put in the bottom of the pie tins.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Stir the sugar into the filling mixture, and then pour it into the pie crust.
- Top the pie with a floating crust or lattice.
- Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and bake until the crust is light brown, about 30 minutes.
- Makes one 9" pie or three 4" pies
If you love grapes and are looking for something different give Grape Pie a chance for some homemade goodness on your holiday table.