A little while back, I mentioned that we have a grape arbor here.
My friend, author Keena Kincaid, suggested that I make grape pie. Actually she said: “If the grapes are ripe, bake a pie. Grape pie is my absolute favorite.”
Which, I suppose, is more of a demand than a suggestion.
But, since Keena and I were apparently separated at birth, because we share all sorts of common opinions — such as the same favorite restaurant in Charleston, SC, while niether one of us lives remotely near there — I figure if Keena likes it, I will too.
Never mind that I’ve never HEARD of grape pie before this.
So I dutifully requested the recipe, which Keena doesn’t have. Clearly she’s not a plotter. This is what she tells me:
Mmmm…I don’t really have a recipe. Just squeeze pulp from grape skins. I remove the seeds. You’ll need about 5 cups of fruit (depending upon depth of pie shell), 1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet the grapes are) and 1 tbs butter. Mix sugar and grapes, pour in the shell, dot with butter, put in top crust and bake.
Fortunately, I never plot either, so I’m fine with this. I know the ending — that’s enough for me.
I made the crust like my grandmother taught me. Okay, I use the pastry blade and my food processor instead of two butter knives, but hey…that’s the freaking point of technology.
I also use whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose, so it never looks quite as pretty. But it’s healthier. Actually, the grape pie overall was reasonably low-fat, low-sugar, which is a bonus.
I started squeezing out the pulp like Keena said to and, after about ten, I lost interest and threw them all in the aforementioned food processor.
Yes, there is a common thread here.
My friend, Kathy-now-Kathryn (Marin –I think you’re so funny!), posts amazing pics of her culinary creations and whrrls the whole process. I am not her.
But, my pantster pie-making method worked out just fine. I ended up adding just 1/2 cup of turbinado sugar, since the grapes were super sweet. I figured we needed some sugar to make it gel. I baked it at a conservative 350, just in case, (oh, and yes, hardened the bottom crust about 20 minutes in the oven first before adding the filling). It ended up
taking about an hour to bake.
I never let pies cool long enough (see impatient food-processor approaches above), so the pie wasn’t perfectly gelled. But hey. Also note super-cool high-heeled pie server in background from my super-cool stepsister, Hope.
Verdict? Tres yummy! Like sunshine and grape jelly in a pie shell.
Now, what do I do with the REST of the grapes???