Prep 20 mins
Cook 35 mins
The small town of Naples, New York, located at the Southern tip of Canandaigua Lake, is famous for its grape pies! This recipe is from Irene Bouchard, who is universally recognized as the mother of Naples' grape pies, if not their actual inventor! Her pies were featured on an episode of the Food Network's "Food Finds" that focused on the specialties of the Finger Lakes. The prep time does not include the 5 hours sitting time.
- 5 1⁄2 cups concord grapes, washed
- 1 cup sugar, depending on the sweetness of the grapes
- 1 tablespoon tapioca
- 1 pastry dough, for a 9-inch pie
- Pop the skins off the grapes by pinching them at the end opposite the stem; set them aside.
- Put the pulp (without water) into a heavy pan, bring it to a boil, and let it boil 5 to 6 minutes; put it through a colander or food mill to remove the seeds.
- Pour the hot pulp over the skins and let the mixture sit for 5 hours (Irene says this colors the pulp and makes it pretty).
- Add the sugar and tapioca, then pour the mixture into the pie crust and dot with butter.
- Put on the top crust (Irene uses a"floating" top crust—a circle of dough slightly smaller than the top of the pie—because it is easier than crimping top and bottom together and it also makes a pretty purple ring around the edge).
- Bake at 400° for 15 minutes.
- Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and cook 20 minutes more until the crust is browned and the juice begins to bubble up.
I have made grape pies for years. I find that cornstarch makes a much better thickener than flour or tapioca. The filling is very labor intensive so I do 1/2 to 1 bushel and freeze the filling for use later. One bushel of grapes makes enough filling for 40+ pies. Irene Bouchard did not invent this pie but she did popularize it. I have my mother's cookbook "The New American Cook Book" from 1941 and there is a very good recipe for grape pie (using cornstarch) in it.
This pie takes a little time to make but worth it. Served it at a dinner and everyone raved about it. Very rich so serve with vanilla ice cream!