I’ve lived in Concord MA since 1988, but I learned about Concord Grape Pie only years later! And it wasn’t even a Concordian who told me…. It’s an unusual and yummy pie.
You know Concord grapes: Welch’s Concord Grape juice and jelly, Manischewitz Concord Grape Wine, etc.
The grape variety was developed in Concord, Massachusetts by Ephraim Wales Bull (1806-1895), Over six years (1843-1849), he planted 22,000 native New England vitis labrusca grape seedlings, hoping to breed a grape that could withstand New England winters and offer good flavor and culinary utility.
Whatever you may think of wine from Concord grapes, they make a great, tasty pie!
Thanks to my friend Sara’s mother-in-law Ann for this recipe. I’ve made a few changes, like the crumb topping, but the basic recipe is hers.
9-inch unbaked pie crust
About 1-1/2 pounds (4 cups) Concord grapes
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 TB butter melted
1 TB lemon juice
1/2 cup quick or rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter melted
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Remove grapes from stems. Slip skins from grapes (it’s easy! see below), placing the pulp in a medium saucepan and reserving the skins in a bowl. Bring the pulp to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. The pulp will soften and get lighter in color.
Press the pulp through a sieve into a medium bowl; this will remove the seeds. Add the skins to the pulp. Melt butter and add butter and lemon juice to grape mixture.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the grape mixture and stir well. Pour into an unbaked pie crust.
For crumb topping: mix oats, sugar, and flour in a small bowl. Pour melted butter over and mix well. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the pie. Bake at 400° F for about 40 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and topping is lightly browned.
Tips from Jane
• I was worried that skinning all those grapes would be terrible, but it wasn’t. You just squeeze the grape gently, and the pulp pops out. It took me less than 15 minutes to do all the grapes for this pie.
• Ann’s original recipe called for a lattice top crust, and other recipes I’ve seen make this a covered pie. I loved the texture and flavor of the crumb topping, but I’m sure the others are just as good.
• As I often say, “Since I like to fill my pies with lots of fruit, they sometimes spill over. To protect your oven, place an old baking sheet or some aluminum foil in the bottom rack of the oven to protect it.” I didn’t think this one would because it wasn’t overly full. I discovered my mistake thanks to the smoke detector, so do watch out!