Monday, December 3, 2012

Ruth's Concord Grape Pie From Heaven

When I moved, I still had time left in my CSA/farm share.  I realized that it wasn't realistic for me to think I'd come up to the farm mid-week just for that, so I gave the rest of my summer share and my winter share to the minister of the Unitarian-Universalist congregation I went to. He likes to cook, is a good cook, and I knew that he and his wife would make very good use of the vegetables.

As a thank you, he made me a grape pie.

Now, I have to tell you that this pie is legendary.  Ruth, the woman who introduced it to him, was a community fixture--everyone knew her, and those who never met her before she passed away certainly have heard a lot about her.  She was one of those people who personified the town they lived in, became a quasi-institution.  When she passed away, the church was overflowing with people who came to pay their respects.

She was also known for her grape pie.

This pie is delicious.  If you like Concord grapes, you will love this pie.  If you are not into Concord grapes, or kind of shrug at grapes, don't make it because, well, grape pie is not easy to make.  You have to remove the skins from the grapes, which sounds like a pain (I haven't made this, so I'm assuming, but the good reverend had confirmed when I first learned of this pie that it is a fair amount of work).  But if you enjoy them, and/or your family or friends do, it's well-worth it, especially if you know of where you can pick them fresh. (It's just as tasty with store-bought grapes.)

Ruth  shared her recipe for the grape pie with the good reverend.  The good reverend made the pie for me as a thank you and shared the recipe with me. 

I had my parents over for dinner in the house I'm renting, and we had this for dessert.  We very much enjoyed this!

Concord Grape Pie

6-plus cups Concord Grapes
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
 2 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. salt
Oat streusel* and one 9" pie shell or two 9" pie shells, depending upon what you prefer.

Wash grapes and remove from stem to measuring up.  Remove skins by pinching grape at opposite stem.  Reserve skins.

Place pulp in saucepan and bring to a boil; cook a few minutes until pulp is soft.  Put through a straer or food mill while pulp is hot to remove the seeds.  Mix strained pulp with skins.  Stir in sugar, flour, lemon juice and salt.  Place grape mixture in pastry lined pie pan.  Sprinkle on Oat struesel or cover with second pie shell.  Bake in a 425 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. 

*To make Oat streusel, combine 1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup flour.  Cut in 1/4 cup butter or margarine to distribute evenly.


  1. After years of trying to make jam from my Concord grape arbor (which I can never get to set) you've given me the best use for my crop. Thanks! I can't wait until next September!

  2. What an awesome thank you gift. I have never heard of grape pie and before reading this was wondering about the skins. Very interesting, I may have to look into this.

  3. This pie sounds delish. What is it best served with? custard cream or ice-cream?
    Also could the pies be made with any other grapes?

    1. Carol, I'm sure you could use other grapes; Concord grapes are common here in New England and there are places where they're growing wild and people who have arbors, so it's a nice way to use them up. We just had the pie as is; it was delicious. Maybe a vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if that's your thing.

  4. Cooking with Concord grapes must be a New England thing. I've read of several recipes using them, and all from your area. It's interesting to hear what's regional for different areas. And that pie sounds very yummy. I'm a pie kind of gal. Breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could.

    In the NW of the US, it's blackberries and Marionberries that show up in pies and other recipes. I'll have to bake a pie soon. This had made me very hungry.

    Pamela, have you used grapes in other recipes? i would think they would be lovely in savory dishes as well as baked goods.

    1. I haven't used them--though I'm sure you're right; they'd be heavenly in a savory recipe. Probably with a rich meat like lamb or venison. A lot of people around here make jelly with Concord grapes.