What to do with Concord grapes

– Posted in: Fruit, Recipes
9 comments

Concord grapes - photo by Rundy - 2002When 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.Concord Grape Pie - Photo by Cadence Purdy - 2006

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 for Home Use – a discussion of the best grapes to grow in cold climates and how to grow them, provided by the Minnesota Cooperative Extension.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

When dealing with frost it is always best to be paranoid. In the spring never think it is too late for one more frost to come. And in the fall never think it too early.

~Rundy in Frost

9 Comments… add one

Kathy August 12, 2014, 2:20 pm

I have never heard of grape pie before my current internet search. I got about 4 1/2 cups of grapes off of the vine we started in our yard. Since it was the same amount called for in you recipe I thought I’d try it. The pie is in the oven this very minute and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you

Kathy Purdy August 12, 2014, 2:50 pm

It is considered a specialty of the Finger Lakes region of NY and more than one village claims to have created the original. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Karen September 17, 2008, 2:14 pm

Never would have thunk it, grape pie! I’ll eat pretty much anything with vanilla ice cream, though. Looks delicious!

commonweeder September 15, 2008, 1:03 pm

Its a good year for grapes in our neighborhood in western Massachusetts. Clumps of Concord grapes are hanging heavy in a couple of old apples trees where they festooned themselves – but they are not ripe. I eat them while I’m working in the garden, but otherwise haven’t used them much. Your pie recipe is a real inspiration. Thanks.

Ilona September 14, 2008, 2:40 am

Your post brought back childhood memories for me. An elderly lady lived next door with a large vine of concord grapes draping her back porch. Every year she would harvest them and I would sit in her kitchen and help “skin” them for her jam making. She was the nicest lady and I always enjoyed those times.

Dee/reddirtramblings September 13, 2008, 5:59 pm

Well, that’s a new one on me, Kathy. It looks good, and could be made GF. Now, if only someone in Oklahoma grew Concord grapes. Most grape production in our state goes for wine.~~Dee

Gail September 12, 2008, 9:08 pm

I can honestly say that I have never had grape pie, but I love concord grapes! They are spectacular looking and taste marvelous! Another one of those delicious sense memories!

Jane September 11, 2008, 11:10 am

Grape jelly! I have a beta grape that is very concord-y and I make the BEST grape jelly out of the fruit.

Jim September 10, 2008, 11:30 pm

Grape pie is great. Kind of like a blueberry pie, but different. A big seller in the Finger Lakes region of NY.

Used to have Concord grapes at my previous house. USed to let the birds get them. Then they’d leave purple poop across our deck. Don’t miss the grapes. Don’t miss the birds.

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