I came. I saw. I concord.

Concord grapes

I’ve been obsessing over concord grapes all fall. The last time I tasted some was in Seattle a few years ago. From the first taste, I was gobsmacked. It tasted the way grapes should be. And until I tried it, I thought concord jelly was just a made-up flavor because it tastes nothing like the red or green table grapes seen in grocery stores in San Diego.

Lucky for me there is Specialty Produce in Middletown. Specialty Produce is a wholesale distributor catering to restaurants and home consumers alike. Their warehouse-size facility is daunting but a call to customer service for special produce in season often brings satisfactory results like these concord grapes.

Concord grapes have a dark and chalky, bitter skin. They are fine for eating despite the seeds but I couldn’t foresee myself eating 5lbs. of grapes before they went bad. The obvious choice was to make concord grape jelly. Instead, I went with concord grape pie. Yes, pie. And a very delicious pie too for all you nonbelievers.

Separating the skins

I should have stuck with jelly because I had to separate the flesh from the skin from almost 5 lbs. of grapes to make two pies. My nails and fingers were stained purple for several days. The work was tedious and you know what kind of music goes with peeling grapes? Apparently Sparks. The skins were saved for later use but the grape guts were boiled until the seeds separated from the flesh.

Uncooked pie

The grape skins are reunited with the flesh and pureed until smooth. Just add sugar, lemon juice, corn starch, place in a pie shell, bake and it’s done.

The aftermath

The pie was left to cool in the refrigerator overnight, giving it a chance to firm up. It has an extreme grape taste — much like a sandwich with lot of grape jelly — with which I have absolutely no problem. I did have a problem with the filling staining everything it touched.

Corcord Grape Pie
About 2 lbs Concord grapes
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pie shell

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Squeeze the pulp out the skins into a saucepan, saving the skins in a bowl. Cook the pulp in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the seeds are beginning to come out.

Strain the pulp into the skins, using a spoon to rub the pulp off the seeds. Add sugar, flour, cornstarch and lemon juice.

Pour into an unbaked 9″ pie crust and make a lattice top.

Bake at 375 degrees F for about 50 minutes. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before serving.

20 thoughts on “I came. I saw. I concord.

Add yours

  1. Gorgeous! Specialty Produce is so much fun. I was there two weekends ago and I could do some serious wallet damage at a place like that.

  2. I have Concord grapes growing in my backyard here in Michigan! It's always a challenge to beat the birds to the crop but it's well worth the fight! I am going to try this pie with next years crop!

  3. That's a good looking pie ; )I've never heard of Sparks before. They're slightly reminiscent of Queen, but definitely creepier.

  4. Abby–It was delicious! Glad you noticed the dough shape.Moowiesqrd–In some ways, I wish I didn't know about Speciality Produce but it has been a godsend.Anonymous–Words cannot describe how jealous I am that you have concord grapes in your backyard. And Faygo soda too.Photogirl–No Photoshop trickery here. The color of the pie also tainted my teeth for a while.Sasha–Thanks. I think Sparks came along the same time as Queen come to think about it.

  5. This sounds so delicious! Thanks for the Specialty Produce link, what a great company! I'll be sure to tell them you referred us all…

  6. Recipes–Hope the recipe works out for you.Ares–I can't recommend Specialty Produce enough.Anonymous–Thanks!

  7. I'm going to try this pie, it looks good :)I just found out that there is a new website for posting cooking questions:http://www.ask2cook.comBased on the succesful stackexchange infrastructure. The site provides a reputation management system that ensures that good answers to good questions are more visible.Now it's quite empty, but with time if you'll post in your questions and answers it can be a really great website!

  8. Agrandar el pene–I think the pie is totally doable with the exception of separating the skins. Good luck!Mi–Thank you!San Francisco Catering–I believe concord grapes would be easier to obtain in San Francisco than here in San Diego. Good luck on your business!

  9. Hey there, you showed up on my blog on “How to Eat a Concord Grape,” the most-read and one of my first posts. If you’re planning a trip east, I’ll point you to Chautauqua County, which abounds with Concord grapes. Go in the Fall during picking season. You can see Niagara Falls, Toronto and especially Chautauqua Institution on your visit.

    btw, you should be able to slip the skins off individually. Your pie sounds wonderful – I’ve a local recipe book from my home county (yes, I live 2,000 miles away) that includes all kinds of grape recipes, recently got it from my music teacher of 40 years ago!

    Look forward to reading more on your site. Cheers! Dee cookingwithdee.net

  10. Allen–
    Thank you! It was delicious too.

    Actually I am thinking of going to NYC and explore some part of the East Coast in October. The pie was wonderful. What other recipes include concord grapes?

    1. Contact me through dee@cookingwithdee.net. A few years ago we did an itinerary through Western NY to Vermont with my in-laws and I’d be pleased to take you through portions of it for you to enjoy your trip. Keep writing good stuff! And I’ll tell you of the book my music teacher of 40 years ago sent me. Dee

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