Grape Pie Filling and Grape Pie
This classic autumnal Western New York pie captures the pure perfumed, robust sweet and tart essence of Concord grapes. Do yourself a favour and serve the pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. The cool, sweet, vanilla is the perfect foil to the tart, sweet grape pie. It's a match made in heaven.
For the Pie Filling:
- 22 cups Concord grapes washed
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice or 1 teaspoon citric acid
- 1 cup ClearJel starch or another brand of the same type of starch
For the Grape Pie:
- 1 quart of grape pie filling
- Pie pastry for a double crust
- 1 egg beaten
- raw sugar or granulated sugar for sprinkling over the crust optional
To Prepare and Can Grape Pie Filling:
Working over two pots, take a grape in each hand and gently squeeze it over the first pot. Deposit the grape skins in the second pot. Continue until you have separated all of the grape pulps from the grape skins.
Place the pot with the grape pulps (do not add water!) over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, allowing it to boil for 5 to 6 minutes. Put the hot pulp through a food mill or pour it through a colander, pressing to get as much pulp through as possible. Pour the hot, sieved pulp over the reserved grape skins.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and ClearJel (and citric acid, if using.) Sprinkle over the grape pulp mixture and use a big whisk or sturdy spoon to mix in thoroughly. Put the pot over medium heat, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thick. It should thicken quickly, but it does still need to be bubbling before you can put it in jars.
Place a canning funnel -for neatness' sake- over the opening of a clean, sterilized quart jar and ladle in the hot pie filling leaving 1-inch of headspace. For help on learning how to sterilize your jars, click this link Moisten a paper towel and wipe the rims of the jars so they are spotless. Center a new lid on the jar and screw the ring in place until fingertip-tight.
Place the jars in a canning pot, ensure they are completely covered with water, bring to a boil and process for 30 minutes. When the 30 minutes are up, turn off the heat, remove the canner lid and let the jars rest for 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack or a towel on the counter. Let cool, undisturbed, overnight before removing rings, wiping clean and labeling. Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to two years.
To Make the Grape Pie:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Roll out half of the pie pastry and lay it gently in the pie plate so that it covers the whole plate and drapes a little outside of the top, too. Pour the jar of grape pie filling into the crust and spread it with a spatula. Roll out the second crust to just slightly larger than the circumference of the top of the pie plate. Lay it on top of the pie filling and gather the excess pastry, folding it under to form a neat edge. Crimp with a fork or whatever style you prefer, cut a few vent holes in whatever shapes you like.
Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and then sprinkle generously with the sugar, if using. This creates a deeper coloured crust and a little bit of sparkle.
Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F and continue baking for another 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is deep brown and the filling is bubbly. If you find the crust is browning too quickly, you can gently crimp foil around the outside edge to protect the edges.
Carefully transfer the pie plate to a cooling rack and let cool completely -if ever you can make yourself wait- before slicing. The filling will still slump out, but may hold together a bit better if you let it cool first.
For the ultimate Western New York experience, serve each slice of pie with a scoop of Perry's Vanilla Ice Cream on top.
Store leftovers tightly covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.