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Concord Grape Pie

Fresh Concord Grape Pie is a seasonal treat just bursting with the amazing flavor and color of this special grape variety. If you get ahold of some fresh concord grapes, drop everything and make this pie.

top view of a concord grape pie with sugar topping on a beige background

We’re lucky to get concord grapes in our farm share. If you’ve never tasted fresh Concord Grapes I can tell you there’s a world of difference between them and regular table grapes.

Concord Grapes have an intense flavor, amazing aroma and striking deep-purple color. There’s a reason that this is the grape used to make the quintessential grape jelly and grape juice. The flavor is so…..grapey.

When we get them in our farm share I’m happy to pop them in my mouth and eat them, skins, seeds and all.

But even more fun is the chance to cook and bake with these amazing purple gems.

If you get just a pint or two of fresh concords, you can make a quick batch of Concord Grape Jam. Naturally this is the perfect jam for your next PB&J sandwich or, even better, PB&J Sandwich Cookies.

If you get a big batch of concords, this pie is what you’ll want to make. In the late summer I do see concord grapes in our local market. If you see them, buy a bunch and bake this pie.

How to make an amazing Concord Grape Pie:

  • Concords are “slip skin” grapes. Meaning, if you squeeze the grape the pulp will slip right out of the skin. But don’t get rid of the skins.
  • The skins add amazing flavor and color to the pie filling. Puree the skins with a little water to break them down.
  • After slipping off the skins, cook the pulp to soften, then strain out the seeds.
  • Concord grapes are quite sweet and the filling doesn’t need a lot of sugar. I found 1 1/4 cups exactly enough. You can adjust to your taste between 1 cup and 1 1/2 cups.
  • Vanilla beans reinforce the aroma and flavor of the grapes.
  • The filling must be cooled before it’s poured into the unbaked pie shell.
  • To quickly cool the filling you can spread it into a rimmed baking sheet and slide it in the freezer.
  • To work ahead the dough can be made several days before. The shell can be rolled several hours or a day before assembling the pie.
  • The filling can be made up to a day ahead.
  • The pie must cool completely before serving or the filling will be runny.

Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make Concord Grape Pie from Scratch:

a hand squeezing the pulp from a concord grape
Slip the the grape pulp out of the skins and into a pan. Save the skins in a separate bowl.
two side by side photos of concord grape skins before and after pureeing.
Puree the grape skins with water.
Concord grape pulp cooking in a pan with a vanilla bean
Cook the grape pulp with a split vanilla bean until the flesh is very soft.
Two side by side photos showing cooked concord grape pulp before and after straining out the seeds.
Strain the cooked pulp to remove the seeds, then return it to the pan.
a pot of boiling concord grape pie filling
Add the skins and cornstarch to the pulp. Bring the mix to a full boil to activate the cornstarch and thicken the filling..
two photos showing how to make a grape cluster pattern on a pie crust top
Use a small cutter to create the grape cluster design. I find the back end of a piping tip the perfect size. Work on a flexible cutting board to easily transfer the crust to the pie.
an unbaked concord grape pie on a wooden table
Place the top crust on the pie, crimp the edges, brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar before baking.
a freshly baked concord grape pie, top view
a slice of concord grape pie on a white plate with a fork

The only thing better than a slice of this pie, is a slice of this pie with a big scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream or Buttermilk Ice Cream.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Concord Grape Pie

Concord Grape Pie

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Bake Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Flaky pie crust is filled with vanilla scented concord grapes. Cut a simple grape cluster design on the top crust for a pretty finish.

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust for a 2 crust pie
  • 2 1/2 pounds (1.12kg) Concord grapes, weight after stemming
  • 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz, 40g) cornstarch
  • 1 1/4/cups (10 oz, 280g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 of a vanilla bean, split
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

Instructions

  1. Roll half the dough to line a 9" deep dish pie pan.
  2. Roll the other half of the dough to a 12" circle. Sprinkle a little flour over the circle and fold it in half. Sprinkle with flour again and fold in half again. Wrap the folded dough and set it into the lined pie pan. Refrigerate the pie dough while you make the concord grape filling. The dough can be rolled up to a day ahead.
  3. Separate the grape skins from the pulp, reserving both. In a food processor or blender, pulse the grape skins with 1/2 cup of water until you have a chunky puree. Transfer the skins to a small bowl and stir in the cornstarch. Set it aside while you prepare the pulp.
  4. In a large saucepan, cook the pulp with the sugar, vanilla bean and salt over medium heat until soft, about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Run the grape pulp through a food mill or strainer to remove the seeds, pressing on the solids to get as much pulp as possible through the strainer.
  5. Return the strained pulp to the saucepan. Scrape the the seeds from vanilla bean and add them to the pulp.
  6. Bring the mixture to a full boil. Stir in the grape skin/cornstarch and cook until it returns to a full boil and begins to thicken. Transfer the pie filling to a large bowl and cool completely before assembling the pie. Refrigerate the pie filling until ready to use, up to 1 day ahead of baking.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the pie plate from the refrigerator. Pour the grape filling into the pie plate. Unfold the dough round for the top crust. Use a small round cutter to cut a holes in the middle of the crust in the shape of a cluster of grapes. Use the tip of a small knife to cut a "stem" at the top of the cluster.
  8. Brush the edges of the bottom crust with egg white. Lay the top crust over the filling with the cluster design centered on the pie. Pinch the two crusts together to seal. Trim the excess dough and crimp the edges for an attractive crust. Brush the top of the pie with egg white and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  9. Bake until golden brown and the fruit in the middle of the pie is bubbling, about 55 minutes.

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a slice of rhubarb pie on a plate

Perfect Pie Crust

Yield: 2 crust pie
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

A Perfect Pie Crust is a thing of beauty. Because there are so few ingredients in a basic pie dough, how you mix those ingredients is crucial to achieve just the right texture. Add the fats in two stages to get a tender and flaky pie crust.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (10 oz, 285g) all purpose flour (see note)
  • 2/3 cup (3.5 oz, 100g) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 115g) leaf lard (or vegetable shortening), cold
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 115g) butter, very cold and sliced into 1/4" thin slices
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 118 ml) ice cold water
  • 1/2 tsp cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Combine the all purpose and cake flour with the salt and sugar. Whisk together to mix the ingredients evenly.
  2. Using your fingers, cut the lard or shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse corn meal. Using your fingers, toss the butter into the flour mixture. Allow the slices of butter to break up into slightly smaller pieces into the flour. Work quickly so the butter doesn't get warm. Don't break the butter down completely. There should be some large flakes remaining.
  3. Mix the water and the cider vinegar. Pour the water onto the flour all at once and toss to combine. Gently press the dough just until it comes together. It will look a little dry in spots. The water will redistribute in the dough as it rests.
  4. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before using.

Notes

This recipe uses a mixture of all purpose and cake flour to mimic pastry flour. All purpose flour will give the dough enough structure so it can hold the flaky texture and a small proportion of cake flour will help keep it tender. If you have pastry flour you can use that in place of the flour mixture.

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