Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wholesome Wednesday: Grape Pie

A couple of weeks ago I'd never heard of a grape pie.  I mean I've had all kinds of berry pies (strawberry, strawberry-rhubarb, raspberry, blackberry and loganberry) but never grape.  I'd never even thought to try one.  

Remember that Martha Meade cookbook I said I'd found at an estate sale recently?  Well it had a recipe for grape pie.  My mom used it to make a pie while we were away at the fair.  While the pie itself tasted good, it had about half an inch of filling in it and this washed out pale pinky gray color.  Not at all visually appealing.  So I figured grape pie really wasn't meant to be.  

But I've run across a lot of references to grape pie lately saying to get a good grape pie you have to peel the grapes, cook the insides and let the cooked stuff cool with the skins in it.  I wouldn't have thought of that.  Cause let me tell you peeling five cups of grapes is a lot of work.  I spent 3+ hours peeling said grapes last night.  I thought it would never, ever end.  

As you can see, that's the secret to making an amazing grape pie.  You need to peel the grapes and pre-cook the filling.  I also changed the flour to slightly less cornstarch because I figured cornstarch would work better.  

Grape Pie

2 1/2 cups grape pulp (recipe below)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
juice of half a lemon
dash of salt
full recipe of 9-inch pie dough (recipe here, just double all ingredients)

Grape Pulp:  Take 5 cups destemmed grapes (I used mostly black seedless with a little red) and peel them.  Save peels.  This will take quite a while to do, make sure to get comfortable before you start.  :)  Place peeled grapes in medium pot.  When all are peeled, cook on high until boiling, turn down heat and let simmer rigorously for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, press grapes through a sieve or use a food mill to liquify grapes (discard solids) and then add to reserved grape skins.  Let cool to room temperature before either using or refrigerating for future use.  Letting them cool with the grape skins is what gives your pie such amazing color.

Pie Assembly:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine all ingredients.  Pour into prepared pastry lined pie plate.  It will be quite juicy.  Cut remaining pie crust into strips.  Weave a lattice top onto pie.  Flute edges.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.  


  1. Wow! It looks delicious. I have never had grape pie before.

    1. It's really good. It tastes more like a mixed berry pie than grapes.

  2. This is the first time I have heard about grape pie and it looks GREAT! Your pictures are wonderful as well. I am not sure I would have the patience for all that grape peeling though... :)

  3. Would love a piece of this pie, it looks so delicious!!!

  4. I haven't heard of grape pie before, it looks wonderful!!

    1. Grape pie is pretty neat. It has that gorgeous dark purple color and a thick texture like a blueberry pie. Yummy!

  5. Thank you for explaining this to me! I will let you make it so I can eat it though. :)

    1. Mallery, thanks for pointing our that I didn't explain how to peel the grapes.

      After trial and error I found the best way to peel the grapes is to cut them in half with a paring knife. Use the knife to loosen the peel at the edge of the grape that wasn't attached to the stem.

  6. I have never heard of grape pie either - but that looks delish! Makes you want to try alot more new foods tht are out there.

    1. I'd have never thought of it either, but it does make sense to make a grape pie when most people make pies out of every berry out there.

  7. This looks gorgeous - but wow! 3 hours peeling grapes?! I don't think I could quite cope with that. Well done to you for having the determination!


  8. Hello! Your pie looks delicious, but I have a HUGE tip for the "peeling of the grapes" part!

    Here in upstate NY grape pie is the most traditional pie, and everyone makes it (Naples, NY is the "Grape Pie Capital of the World"). We always use seeded concord grapes, with thick skins. If the skins are thick, you don't have to peel them: You just squeeze them with your thumb and forefinger and the pulp shoots out. For my set-up I usually have the bucket of grapes in my lap, and then two bowls in front of me-- one for the pulp, and one in which to toss the hulls. The process goes so fast this way, and I can de-skin 2 quarts of grapes in 20 minutes!

    Here's an important (I think) point, though. The only reason we Upstaters separate the hulls from the pulp is because the grapes are seeded. See, the next step with seeded grapes would be to put all the pulp on the stove and simmer then until the gelatinous grape blobs soften and release the seeds. Then we strain out the seeds and add the skins back in. Thick-skinned grapes make the best, "grapiest" flavor of pie, and would have been the only grapes used when this pie started being made early on in America. If people had to peel thin-skinned grapes, it seems unlikely that they ever would've made the pie!

    In the upstate we're lucky though, in that we live in a wine-making region with different varieties of grapes available. Perhaps you can try making the pie again, but just cutting the grapes in half, or squashing them, before cooking-- and skip the whole skinning part! Seems to me that thinner skins wouldn't add any bitterness during the cooking-down process.

    Hope I could be of some help :)

    Happy baking!!