Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Grape Pie

Servings: 6-8
Ever heard of a grape pie? No? Well go to Naples, New York where this self-proclaimed (and who's going to challenge them on this?) "Grape Pie Capital of the World" brings in well over 100,000 visitors during the 6 to 8 weeks of grape harvest from September through mid to late October. When it's over, about two-dozen women have sold more than 70,000 pies from their kitchens. The Concord grape may not be as popular as it once was, but folks here still find it quite useful, thank you very much.

This is our version of a delectable Concord Grape Pie from Ontario County, New York. For much of the year, Concord grapes aren't available to most of us. Try black seedless grapes for a home version.

Pie Crust (recipe follows), or use your favorite pie crust recipe for a double crust pie
3 cups fresh, concord grapes or black seedless grapes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 to 1 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of the grapes)
3 tablespoons small-pearl tapioca
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon milk

Make pie crust (see recipe below).

Rinse and halve fresh, black seedless grapes. Add lemon juice and process lightly in food processor—don't puree. In medium pan, combine grapes with sugar, tapioca and salt. Let stand 5 minutes. Bring to boil; let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool about 20 minutes (if using Concord grapes that have seeds, strain the filling through a sieve).

Pour cooled filling into prepared pie shell (see recipe below). Top with second crust, venting crust to allow steam to escape. Trim crust 1/2 inch beyond edge. Turn pastry edge under itself around the pie. Crimp edge. Brush milk on top crust and bake at 400 degrees F/200 degrees C for about 40 minutes, shielding the crust with foil during the last 15 to 20 minutes of baking. Bake until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Cool and serve.

Makes 1 (9-inch) double-crust pie, 6 to 8 servings.

Pie Crust

2/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup ice-cold water
1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar

Cut shortening into flour, sugar and salt with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles the size of small peas. In separate bowl, beat together egg, water and vinegar. Toss liquid gently with flour and shortening until mixture is moistened. Don't overmix or crust will be tough. Mold into ball. Chill at least 15 minutes.

Divide pastry in two balls. On lightly floured surface, slightly flatten the first ball. Roll from center to edge into 12-inch circle. To transfer to pie plate, fold crust in half and then in half again. Unfold in 9-inch pie plate. Trim to edge of pie plate. Repeat with remaining pastry ball for top crust. Continue as above.

Source: Progressive Farmer
Date: September 23, 2006