Grape pies have all the voluptuous qualities of a blackberry pie, but I've never found a commercial one, or even one from a farmers' market, that's even half as good as homemade. The filling can also be used to make individual tarts or a lattice-covered pie. It freezes well, too, which means you can have a grape tart on Thanksgiving, which I always do.
Concords are slipskin grapes and they have seeds. They are not difficult to work with, but you will need a food mill.
2-1/2 pounds purple or white Concord grapes, washed
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
3 tablespoons All-purpose flour, or minute tapioca
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Nine-inch tart shell, pre-baked
1. Squeeze the grapes with your fingers, putting the insides into a saucepan and the skins into a bowl. Bring the skinned grapes to a boil and cook until they turn white and soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Pass them through a food-mill to separate the seeds, working the pulp right into the bowl with the skins. Stir in the sugar, flour, lemon zest, and juice. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Let stand until cool.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Scrape the filling into the prebaked tart shell, set on a sheet pan, and bake until the filling is set, about 35 minutes. Let cool.
4. Add lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving, if desired
Excerpted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison (10th anniversary edition, Broadway Books, 2007). Copyright 2007 by Deborah Madison.
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