What the heck is a Vineyard Pie!? It’s grape laden wonderful bliss, that’s what. Recently, I entered a pie contest for which I will share pictures and stories at a later time. Since the contest, I have had numerous requests for the recipe of my Vineyard Pie and so everything else must take a back seat while I share the secrets of my unusual grape pie with my friends. This recipe is entirely original and my own.
So like I was saying, this was a pie intended for a contest but for me it was really an opportunity to think outside the box and do something… different. The contest rules stated that the fruit had to be in season. Immediately my mind went towards things such as pears, apples, plums and the like and then something unexpected creeped into my cranium. Grapes. Yep… grapes.
And so I started to do some research. Was it possible to make a pie made of… Grapes? Well it turns out that it is, and Concord Grapes seem to be a big deal to pie makers in areas such as Maryland. My mind was already made up. Grape Pie, here I come! In researching recipes I found that the process in which those East Coast pies were made, had a very “jammy” interior.
I most certainly did not want to create a pie that was a big crust covered piece of Grape Jam. I wanted the grapes to shine, taste fresh, sweet and have a cherry pie like texture. Upon tasting and re-tasting grapes I decided that a mix of gapes was my ticket to success. Concords lend their characteristic grapey flavor, Red Grapes for a nice sweet tart and firm fruit and Black Grapes for their honey-like sweetness.
***photo by Rasmus Rasmussen
After putting all these grapes together it struck me that I practically had myself a vineyard of grapes at hand. Then a light bulb went off in my head… Ooooo! Wine!! So I grabbed some different sweet wines from my pantry to taste along with one of each of the grapes. I liked the flavor of the Port but I went with a Blackberry Dessert Wine from Pasek Cellars, which is a local Cellar located in Mount Vernon. The Blackberry Dessert Wine added a lovely fruity note that was a lovely accent to the Grapes.
So now it was on to prepping and making pie crust. My pie crust had additions of Almond Flour, Buttermilk, local Leaf Lard and homemade Butter. This filling would taste really wonderful in just about any crust, because this pie is totally all about the filling. This filling could even be turned into a successful Cobbler or Brown Betty as well. (I’ll share the crust recipe in a later post about the Pie Contest)
***photo by Rasmus Rasmussen
In the East Coast grape pies, they squeeze out the centers of the Concord, run it through a food mill to remove the seeds… yadda yadda. I didn’t want grape mush, I wanted these Grapes to be berry-like. So to prep I washed the grapes, dried them and cut them in half. Once in half the Concords revealed their little seed and a quick flick of the fingernail the seed was history and I was left with a lovely purple plump grape. The Black Grapes & Red Grapes were seedless, but I cut them in half anyway so the filling had a consistent mouth feel, and I didn’t want to have grapes bursting in someone’s mouth and squirting out.
This pie was my great experiment. It has been at least 10 years since the last time I made a pie from scratch, including the crust. It is the first time I have ever invented a recipe for a pie and the first time I have ever had a grape pie tickle my tastebuds. This pie has a light yet subtly rich flavor, not overly sweet. The Grape flavor is not jammy, as my husband Rasmus put it “You can really taste the freshness of the grape.” and he is absolutely right. The grapes still have a fruity pop, yet their flavors have melded together.
- 1 double crust recipe of your favorite Pie Crust (this filling is great for a Gluten Free Crust)
- 1 1/2 cups Concord Grapes, seeded & halved
- 1 1/2 cups Seedless Red Grapes, halved
- 1 1/2 cups Seedless Black Grapes, halved
- 1 1/2 cups Organic Cane Sugar
- 1/2 cup Dessert Wine or Port
- 1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
- Zest of 1 Orange
- Juice of 1 Orange
- 1 Egg White for brushing the pie crust (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients together and stir to coat everything evenly.
Put your bottom crust down into you pie pan. Ladle the pie filling into the unbaked pie crust, being careful not to overfill it. The filling should form a mound, flush with the edge of the pie pan and rising gracefully to an inch over the rim at the very center. If you happen to have extras, save them to make small tarts with your leftover pie crust trimmings.
Place the top crust onto the pie and crimp the edges closed. Cut a few slits to act as vents for your filling. If you want a shiny topped pie, now would be the time to put your egg white onto the top crust, using a pastry brush.
Place the pie onto a baking sheet, to catch any spillage. Make a foil “tent” for the top to protect it from over browning, make sure there is at least an inch of spacec between the pie top and the foil so that the pie has breathing room.
Bake the pie for 45-50 minutes. Remove the foil tent and finish baking the crust until it is browned to perfection, right around 5-10 minutes more.
Let this pie cool completely before serving, as the Tapioca needs time to set properly.
This is a great alternative to Apples, pears & Pumpkins and makes wonderful Fall pie, the colors and flavors… well it’s just down right beautiful. Hope you enjoy!
***A special Thank You! to Rasmus Rasmussen for taking the shots of me in action. You are the bestest! Biggest piece of pie is for YOU!