Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Concord Grape Pie

I married into this pie - so to speak - and oh, I'm so glad I did. You've probably never heard of a grape pie - it does sound weird, doesn't it? But if you can find Concord grapes where you are, you should make this. It's like grape juice in pie form, and it's delicious. It tends toward the sweet, so it's best with vanilla ice cream or, in a pinch, whipped cream.

Concord grapes have a really short season here in Seattle, so grab the grapes when you see them! The season is usually sometime in September, but the weather has been so weird this year that I'm keeping an eye out now. Alas, Concord grapes are not seedless, so you have to get the seeds out of them before you can make the pie. Just put on some comfy shoes and some good music and you'll be done in no time!

Grape Pie
serves 6-10

1 ½ pounds (~4 cups) Concord grapes
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Bottom Crust:
Your favorite crust, homemade or store-bought

Top Crust:
½ cup flour
½ cup sugar
¼ cup butter

Filling: Slip skins from grapes (just squeeze them and the insides will eject); set skins aside. Bring pulp to a boil; reduce heat &simmer for approx. 5 minutes (until grapes fall apart). Press pulp through sieve to remove seeds; addskins to pulp.

Combine sugar, flour, and salt; add to grapes. Add lemon juice and butter; mix well. Pour into pie shell.

Crust: sift flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over pie.

Bake at 400° about 40 minutes, until the top crust is just getting color around the outer inch or so.

Bonus: if you want to be able to make this pie when the grapes are not in season, you can can the filling in a hot water canner - just omit the flour and butter. When you open the jar to make the pie, stir in the flour, and then add the butter and dump the whole thing into the pie crust. It works great!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Peanut Butter Cream Pie - for Mikey

Sunday night, my Twitter stream sort of blew up with shock and sadness - I didn't know exactly what happened until Monday morning, but the food blogging community was reeling from the sudden loss of Mikey Perillo. His wife, Jennifer, is big in the food world.  I didn't read her blog, or follow her on Twitter, but I knew of her nonetheless. I knew she had young kids, and I was stunned by the news.

Later in the week, she posted about how fleeting life can be, and reminded us to treasure our loved ones while we can - don't put off loving them until tomorrow, because tomorrow is not guaranteed to arrive.  She asked that people make Mikey's favorite pie on Friday, and that we share it with people we love, because she'll never get to share it with him again.

So I did.  Peanut butter cream pie is not my husband's favorite (though I'm pretty sure he'll like it), so I'll make his favorite pie in the next few days.  For today, though, we have this pie, and we have each other and our son. And even though there are still things we long for in our life, today we'll remember to be thankful for life and love and the abundance we have been given.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Cream Pie

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