Concord Grape Pie with Walnuts and Orange Zest

By • September 15, 2010 • 16 Comments

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Author Notes: This is the most annoying pie to make ever, but don't give up, it is also the most delicious. My husband likes Concord grapes and pies, so I make it for him (at long intervals, I admit). The walnuts are a trick from Paula Peck's The Art of Fine Baking and the orange zest idea is from the internet. The original pie recipe is from The Savory Way and Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts.luvcookbooks

Serves 8-10

  • 1 pie crust for double crust pie, homemade only
  • 2 1/2 pounds Concord grapes or other slipskin grape
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • grated zest and juice of one orange
  • 1 cup walnuts, placed in ziploc bag and run over with a rolling pin a few times but not pulverized
  1. You have begun a journey. Invite a friend or put on a record or audiobook. At the very least, turn on NPR.
  2. Slip the grapes out of their skins one by one. Wear gloves if you don't want people to think you have cyanotic fingers. Heat the grapes until they simmer and the seeds start to float out. Use a sieve or food mill to separate out the seeds. You can also seed each grape individually. I think it tastes I best this way, but only do it if you are deeply committed to the person you are making the pie for (e.g., I do this for my husband).
  3. Add the pulp to the skins. Stir in sugar, orange juice and zest.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400. Line the pie tin with the bottom crust. Use a fork to puncture the bottom of the crust all over. Carefully distribute the walnuts over the bottom crust. It will remind you of grape conserve.
  5. Pour in the filling, being careful not to disturb the walnuts. Cover with the top crust. Consider making a lattice, since the dark filling will look beautiful in contrast with the lattice. You have already done so much, what is 5 more minutes? If you are going with a simple top crust, float it (make it slightly smaller than the diameter of the top of the pie) so that the filling can peek out. Brush the lattice or top crust with an egg yolk wash (you've already done so much ... it will look prettier). Add sesame seeds to the crust over the egg wash, the egg wash will hold them on and they add a nice nutty flavor.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower heat to 350 and bake for another 35 minutes. Have a glass of wine while the pie is baking and serve after it cools with strong coffee. Your pie will be remembered forever.
Jump to Comments (16)

Tags: time consuming but worth it

Comments (16) Questions (0)

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12 months ago Mitch

The flavor is great - thanks for sharing. I had one issue when I made this though. The filling was not very firm and after cutting the first slice the filling kinda oozed into that space. Any ideas what I did wrong? Or advice on how I could remedy this condition?

Birthday_2012

12 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Oozing can definitely be a problem with soft fruit and berry pies. As you can see from the pictures, I have some ooze to my pie. I like a juicy pie. Some ideas for thickening the filling more: add a little more flour (1-2 T more, say). I also just tested Emily C's Cranberry Pear Ginger Pie. She cooks her fruit briefly on the stove with sugar and orange juice, then strains the juice off, infuses it with flavorings, and boils it down-- that would give more of a gel and you would avoid the potential pastiness of flour. I am thinking with the concord grapes, a few whole cloves, aa little cinnamon stick and some thyme branches might be nice with a Concord grape syrup. The other advantage to using this technique would be that after you have cooked the grapes, you can strain out the seeds instead of arduously seeding them one by one. I'm so glad you tried the pie, hope this is helpful.

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11 months ago Mitch

Thanks so much for all the suggestions. I like the idea of cooking it more on the stove to help thicken it as opposed to using more flour. I wouldn't want to change the flavor any - it tastes perfect to me the way it is.

Birthday_2012

11 months ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Looking around the site, cornstarch is a popular thickening agent also. My mom always used flour, so that's what I use, but cornstarch might be worth trying as well. Let me know how it turns out if you make a variation. :))

Mrs._larkin_370

about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

This looks and sounds fantastic. Enter it into this week's contest! Also, sorry for this dumb question, but how do you seed your grapes?

Birthday_2012

about 2 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Thanks! Hadn't seen the new contest theme, entered it just now... and for the question of how do you seed grapes, I cut them in half and remove the seeds with the sharp point of a knife. It takes a long time, but cooking and straining out the seeds doesn't make as good a filling as hand pitting them. IMHO of course.

Birthday_2012

about 3 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

I am commenting on my own recipe, feel a little silly. I made the pie for our 18th anniversary and took some more photos. This time I was running late and instead of grating orange rind, I cut up some candied Meyer lemon rind from June Taylor's Still Room (food52 name dropping). Also used black walnuts instead of walnuts. My daughter thought they were bitter but I think I cut the sugar back too much-- tried .5 cups instead of .75 cups. It was enjoyed by all and for the record, it took two hours to seed the grapes.

Birthday_2012

about 3 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

I am commenting on my own recipe, feel a little silly. I made the pie for our 18th anniversary and took some more photos. This time I was running late and instead of grating orange rind, I cut up some candied Meyer lemon rind from June Taylor's Still Room (food52 name dropping). Also used black walnuts instead of walnuts. My daughter thought they were bitter but I think I cut the sugar back too much-- tried .5 cups instead of .75 cups. It was enjoyed by all and for the record, it took two hours to seed the grapes.

About_2

about 4 years ago Rita Banci

Woah! This is delicious!! Well, I need to recruit an army of people to help me with the grapes - mom, grannie, friends, my 5-month old baby... :P - but it's really worth it. I don't know if I can make it this year (too busy with my baby...), but next year I'll surely try. I'm in love with grape pie. I'll save this one. Too precious. :D

2010-09-15_14.22.07

about 4 years ago calendargirl

Whoops, I mean your father.

Birthday_2012

about 4 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

try graham cookie crust
-scott

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, this is inspiring to try and give it a go!

2010-09-15_14.22.07

about 4 years ago calendargirl

I have always wondered about grape pies, but never made one -- yet! Thank you for posting this, with such a smile-inducing narrative. Nice to see Paula Peck mentioned; I learned so many tricks from her ART OF FINE BAKING.

Birthday_2012

about 4 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

have you ever made paula peck's croissant recipe? my mom makes croissants on xmas morning unless she makes danish pastry. one christmas she was separated from her usual recipe and used paula peck's. if i ever make croissants i will use that recipe. she also has an art of fine cooking cookbook.

2010-09-15_14.22.07

about 4 years ago calendargirl

Never have made Paula Peck's croissants. What a lovely Christmas morning tradition of your mom's. By the way, hope she is doing better (you, too!). PP taught me about genoise and her explanation of the technique of folding was clear and instructive when I was first learning about baking. I joined Book of the Month Club as a twenty-something to get the Oxford English Dictionary and a slew of cookbooks.

Birthday_2012

about 4 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

wonder if i learned genoise from pp as well, can't remember, sigh. wish i had seen the oed offer. My father's surgery was a success and I hope now that he's not in so much pain he will be able to eat and gain weight. Thank you for asking :)