Joan’s Grape Pie

As you might know we have recently moved into a new house, which I absolutely adore. Our backyard is large and as a bonus we inherited this wonderful Concord grapes mini-vineyard.

Concord grapes are my favorite! One of my precious childhood summer memories is sitting on my grandparents’ patio at the old walnut picnic table underneath the grape covered arbor. The shade provided by the large leaves kept this area cool. My cousins and I believed that if we lay on the bench with our mouth open long enough the grapes might just fall right into it. They didn’t.

Now being a brand-new grandmother myself, I hope our vineyard will help making memories for Avelyn and also Alexia and Alaina, my step-granddaughters. This tiny vineyard produces many grapes; more than we can eat. I’ve been bringing grapes to work, sharing them with the family and still have enough to easily open a stand at the farmer’s market. To my rescue came Joan, my sister-in-law, with the recipe for a grape pie filling. Now there is something I never made before – a pie. Challenge accepted. To top it off I made the pie crust from scratch, because this new grandma should know how to make pies. Don’t all grannies do?


Crust for 9-inch pie:

2 ½ cups all-purpose Flour, plus extra for rolling
2 sticks (or 8 oz.) unsalted Butter, very cold
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
4-6 tablespoons ice Water

Grape Filling:
4 cups Concord Grapes, washed
About 1 cup Sugar, depending on the sweetness of the grapes
1 ½ tablespoon Lemon Juice
3 tablespoons Cornstarch



This looks lengthy, but keep in mind that even I, who generally don’t like to bake and never ever made a pie, think this was pretty easy.


Start with making the crust first.  Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add cold butter cut into ½-inch cubes and pulse 8-10 times until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at the time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. Pinch some of the crumbly dough. If it holds together, it’s ready. Otherwise, add a little more water and pulse again. Warning: too much water will make the crust tough!


Remove dough from the machine and place on a clean surface in a mound. If you want extra flaky crust, press the dough mixture into the surface with the heel of the palm of your hand a few times.



Gently shape the dough into two disks working it just enough to form the disks, do not over-knead. You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.


Meanwhile prepare the grape filling. Wash the grapes and pop the skins of the grapes by pinching them at the end opposite the stem; set them aside. Put the pulp (without water) into a heavy pan, bring it to a boil, and let it boil 5 to 6 minutes. Put it through a colander to remove the seeds. Mix sugar with cornstarch, add to the skins then pour hot pulp over. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. The longer the mixture sits, the prettier the color of the pulp will be.


Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. It will soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick.  If necessary, add a few sprinkles of flour under the dough to keep it from sticking to the surface below.
Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the plate. You should have about ½ inch overhang dough. After much time spent researching different crust tops, I found that a “floating” top crust – a circle of dough slightly smaller than the top of the pie, is easier to make than crimping top and bottom together and it also makes a pretty purple ring around the edge. Fold the excess dough under the edge of the bottom piece of dough, pressing together. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork.


Add filling to the pie.

Roll out second disk of dough, as before. Cut out a circle slightly smaller than the top of the pie. Score the top of the pie with four 2-inch long cuts. If you want, use the excess dough to cut out decorative shapes and add to the top crust. Gently place onto the top of the filling in the pie.

Optional: Paint the top of your crust with an egg wash. This will make a nice finish. Beat one egg yolk with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, half and half or milk. Brush on the surface of the pie with a pastry brush.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and cook 20 minutes more until the crust is browned and the juice begins to bubble up.



I love how my first pie turned out. I think this looks like a winner, what do you say?



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Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates or purchase the full version below. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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3 Comment

  1. Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Very pretty pie! You can also make some amazing grape juice from Concord grapes. I’ll bring the recipe on Saturday.

    1. Reply
      August 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      Thanks Farmgirl! I know you’re a fantastic pie baker and I will never venture to be that good 🙂 I’ll give you some grapes to go on Saturday.

  2. […] are out of ordinary just as I do, although she might not want to admit it. The proof is in this recipe – did you know you can make pie with grapes? It’s to no surprise than that she picked and loved […]

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