Thursday, October 17, 2013

Finger Lakes Grape Pie

This recipe is in response to the book The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins.  You can see the review of THE PERFECT MATCH HERE.  This recipe comes from Kristan herself.  Check out what she had to say.

(From Kristan's Newsletter)
As part of my research for books, I like to try the local dishes when I'm visiting the area I set my stories.  For the Finger Lakes, there were two dishes that stood out for me - salt potatoes which are potatoes cooked in very salty brine (fantastic) and grape pie.  Oh man, I love grape pie!  I never had it before I went to the Finger Lakes, and now I'll never visit the area without making sure I have some.  Here's my version of the lovely Yankee dessert, which Honor makes for Tom's unofficial stepson in THE PERFECT MATCH.

Finger Lakes Grape Pie

For Filling:
5 1/2 cups Concord grapes
3/4 cups sugar, maybe a little more depending on how sweet the grapes are
1 tablespoon tapioca or 3 tablespoons cornstarch

For Crust:
1 cup cold lard (I know, I know, but it makes the flakiest crust there is)
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ice water
a pinch of breadcrumbs for sprinkling on the bottom of the pie plate before you put the crust in.

Assemble crust by cutting lard into small chunks. Mix in dry ingredients with pastry fork. Add ice water (use a tablespoon or two more if dough seems dry). Refrigerate. The colder the crust, the flakier it will be.

Preheat oven to 425.

Wash the grapes and pop the skins off by pinching them at the non-stem end. Save the skins in separate bowl. Put the peeled grapes into a saucepan, squish them lightly and bring it to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes; put it through a colander to remove the seeds. Pour the hot pulp over the skins. (The longer you let this mixture sit, the deeper the color.) Add the sugar and tapioca, then pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust and dot with butter. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can do a lattice work top crust or cut out a pattern in the crust so the gorgeous color will show.

Bake at 425° for 20 minutes.Lower the temperature to 320 degrees and cook 40 minutes more until the crust is browned and the juice begins to bubble up. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream (you know I was going to say that, didn’t you?). Enjoy!