When we moved to this land, there were some grape vines already growing here. They were slipskin grapes, and if they weren’t Concord grapes, they certainly were similar to Concords. That’s not too surprising, since the hardiest grape species are slipskin.
But you know what? Those kinds of grapes are too tart for me. They really do make my mouth pucker. For me, there are only two things to do with these kinds of grapes: make jam and make pie. That’s right, Concord grape pie. It’s why these grapes exist, as far as I’m concerned. And your kids will have fun helping you make it.
Concord Grape Pie
This recipe came from an ancient copy of Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook, page 414. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
1 unbaked pie shell
4 1/2 cups Concord grapes
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
Oat Streusel (recipe below)
Wash grapes. Remove skins by pinching at end opposite stem. (That’s the part your kids will have fun doing for you!) Reserve skins. Place pulp in saucepan and bring to a boil; cook a few minutes until pulp is soft. Put through strainer or food mill, while pulp is hot, to removes seeds. Mix strained pulp with skins. Stir in sugar, flour, lemon juice, and salt. Place grape mixture in pastry-lined pie pan. Sprinkle on Oat Streusel or, if you prefer, you can crimp on a top crust. Bake in 425F oven 35 to 40 minutes.
Oat Streusel Topping
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup brown sugar — packed
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
Combine first three ingredients. Cut in butter to distribute evenly. Sprinkle over pie.
Do you want to grow grapes?
Here are some resources to get you started:
- St. Lawrence Nurseries has a wide variety of grapes suited to cold climates. They are in USDA hardiness zone 3 and they grow their own stock. We have gotten several kinds of woody fruits from them and they have all performed well. They also have a better selection of books on growing grapes in cold climates than Amazon does.
- Growing Grapes in the Home Garden – a discussion of the best grapes to grow in cold climates and how to grow them, provided by the Minnesota Cooperative Extension.