A sweet and herbal treat, unlike any grape pie you've ever had before. —Food52
Test Kitchen Notes
This recipe is by Gezina Plumb and was the 2013 winner of the Gramercy Tavern Annual Thanksgiving Pie Contest. —The Editors
CREAM CHEESE CRUST:
unsalted butter, cold and cubed
cream cheese, cold and cubed
1 1/4 cups
1 1/2 cups
light brown sugar
egg yolks, scrambled
mugolio (pine bud extract from the Dolomites)
Generous pinch of salt
CRÈME FRAÎCHE LAYER:
2 1/2 pounds
seedless concord or mars grapes
Juice from one lemon
heavy whipping cream
In This Recipe
Make the crust: Mix the butter and cream cheese in a standing mixer briefly before adding the flour and salt. Add water, and mix just to come together, but don't overmix. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Roll out your pie dough to the size of your pie plate. Lay the dough in your pie plate and neatly trim the edges so you have enough to crimp, then crimp the edges as dramatically as you can.
Preheat with the oven to 350°F. Blind bake the pie crust with with pie weights for 15 minutes and continue baking without them until the bottom is light golden brown, another 5-10 minutes.
Make the custard: Warm the cream on the stove then remove it from the heat and add the rosemary sprigs to infuse for several hours.
Strain the rosemary from the cream, then bring the infused cream and the light brown sugar to a boil. Temper in the egg yolks: Slowly add some of the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks and whisk to combine, then once the yolk mixture is up to temperature (and not cooked!), add it back into warm cream mixture.
Add mugolio and pinch of salt. (This custard should really be a salty sweet creation, so don't hold back with the salt.)
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Fill the base of the pie shell with the custard, then cover it with buttered aluminum foil (buttered side down) and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the custard is just set. This step can be completed up to 2 days in advance.
Make the crème fraîche layer: Combine all the ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip until medium firm peaks form, then spread evenly over the baked custard layer.
Make the grape mousse: Bloom gelatin sheets in ice cold water until soft. Squeeze out all water and reserve for later use.
Heat the grapes with 1/4 cup water until the grapes start bursting and the skins separate from the pulp. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. The resulting amount of the grape juice should be about 2 cups.
Add bloomed gelatin, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Let stand to cool in the refrigerator until it thickens a little bit.
Whip the cream to soft peaks, and transfer to another bowl.
In a clean bowl, combine the egg whites with the grape jelly and whip until thickened. Fold in the cream until it’s all combined and then load it on your pie. (There will definitely be some left over but you can use the rest as an elegant little treat in glasses with a bit of whip cream on top.) You may garnish the pie with slices of black, purple, and green grapes or just leave it in its purple glory.