Pie-a-Day #39: Concord Grape Pie with Butter-Coconut Oil Crust

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Although I made a grape pie a while ago it wasn’t a slip skin grape pie which seems to be the classic in many pie centric books.  So when I saw Concord Grapes at the market I smiled.  It’s great when the planets align.

This is the first recipe I made from my new favorite pie book.  It’s called The Lost Art of Pie Making Made Easy by Barbara Swell and is pattered after old fashioned cookbook pamphlets.  I love her ideas about the beauty and comfort of an old fashioned homey imperfect pie.

The directions for this pie are a little strange.  First you have to pinch the pulp out from the skins, then cook the pulp, run it through a food mill to remove the seeds, then mix the pulp, liquid and skins back together.  You then add sugar, cornstarch and once cool pour it into the pie shell and bake.  So once again I have to trust that the amount of cornstarch in the recipe will be just right.  And miracle of miracles, it was!

My mother has been known to pop bubble wrap for pleasure so I asked her to help by pinching the pulp from the skins.  While she was busy prepping the grapes I busied myself with the dough.  I wanted to try the new “natural” coconut oil that some are using instead of traditional vegetable shortening in pie dough.  I decided to use my basic recipe substituting coconut oil for half the butter.  It may say “oil”, but the beauty of coconut oil is that it’s solid at room temperature.  It seems to be a good dough.  I used butter that was literally frozen solid so in rolling out the dough I could see big flecks of butter peaking through the dough.

What an interesting pie.  Corcord Grapes are such an old fashioned flavor – think Welch’s Grape Juice.  The color of the grapes is deep nearly eggplant purple – really beautiful.  And the flavor is sweet and super grapey.  As you can see the crust baked beautifully.