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Monday, September 7, 2009

Grape Pie (2 ways)

I have come to the conclusion that I really need to chill with the camera. I mean, when I take over 100 photos for 1 post/recipe...I know I'm in trouble. It takes ten million years give or take to actually sort through, combine and eventually come up with a post. Ugh. I have been trying to write this post for a good week or so now. It didn't help that this weekend was Labor Day and when I wasn't working (I had to work every day!!) I was try to enjoy time with the family. I am super backed up...on computer related things, not the other way...and here I am with a post that I need to have posted by midnight so that I can send it over to You Want Pies with That?

We were thinking of a favorite vacation memory or dream this month. As a kids, during the summer I would always spend a couple of weeks with my grandparents. My uncles lived close and one of them had a few grapevines in his yard. I was perfectly content for hours at a time just wandering around outside...and in my mind...plucking grapes from the vine and squeezing that sweet center from the tart skin straight into my mouth...putting my tongue to work squeezing that pulp against the roof of my mouth to dislodge the seeds and then joyfully spitting them in the grass as I moseyed along on my daydream adventure. I didn't realize at the time, but this whole part of my family lives in the prime wine country of Southwest Michigan. As I grew older, my love of grapes became a love of wine and I love to sneak a vacay (be it mini or long) to a wine trail...the one right in the same area as the grapes I grew up savoring...or another.

When we moved in to our new house just shy of 6 months ago, I was so excited to discover that we had a couple of grapevines in our yard!!! I would love to expand and have more varieties in the future, but what an awesome few months it has been watching our vines bear fruit! I was instantly transported back to my childhood vacations with the first grape I popped into my mouth! And now my kids may have similar childhood grape memories.
Our grapes are green...and I do not know the varietal (anybody?)! I usually pick up some Concord grapes from the Farmer's Market around this time of year and make a Concord Grape Pie. I decided to keep up that tradition, but to also use our own grapes to make a Green Grape (and so it shall stay until I figure out their real name) pie, as well!
Grape Pie (directions for 1 pie...double if making 2)
yield: 1 (9-inch) pie

4 c. Grapes (the kind straight from the vine, not supermarket variety)
1/2 c. granulated sugar
4 Tbs. flour
1 1/2 Tbs. butter, melted
Juice of 1/2 lemon (~1 1/4 Tbs.)

9 inch pie shell recipe here

Streusel Topping (or use a top crust)
3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1/3 c. melted butter

Wash, drain and stem grapes. Pop the pulp of the grapes into a medium pot. Save skins in a large bowl.

Place pulp over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. DO NOT add any water to pulp.

While hot, press pulp through a sieve (or food mill) to remove seeds into the bowl with the reserved skins.

Combine sugar and flour; add to grapes. Blend in lemon juice and melted butter.

Have your prepared pie shell ready.

Pour filling into shell.

Combine your streusel ingredients with your fingers. It'll be hot & sticky & crumbly...kinda like a shortbread dough. That's right, don't worry.

Top your pie with the streusel (or top crust). I decided to add almonds to the green grape pie top , as well.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 50-55 minutes. Let cool before slicing. It actually slices even better if refrigerated before cutting...but I like to eat it warm, so I reheat it before eating.