One of my favorite pies has always been Concord Grape Pie.
But it’s SO. MUCH. WORK. Every time I spend hours seeding those stupid little grapes, I swear I’ll never do it again.
Enter Trader Joe’s.
The newest Fearless Flyer said they had “Thomcord” grapes – a cross between Concord and Thompson seedless grapes. They taste like Concord, but are seedless. Yahoo! I scooped up two one-pound boxes of these little beauties:
A quick taste confirmed that they do, indeed, taste like Concord grapes – though perhaps a bit sweeter.
For the pie, I decided to cut back a little bit on the sugar to compensate for the sweeter grapes, using about 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup for the filling. I considered just mixing the fresh grapes with the rest of the filling ingredients and just dumping it into the pie crust, but then thought better of it. Since grapes are so juicy, I thought it might be better if I cooked them first to reduce the liquid a bit. So I dumped the grapes in a saucepan and squished/chopped them a bit with my pastry cutter. Then I brought them to a simmer and let them cook for about 15 minutes, stirring and smashing occasionally.
After the grapes were done, I threw in the butter and remaining filling ingredients, dumped it into the pie shell, sprinkled on the topping, and put it in the oven.
Mmmmm. I’m back in the saddle again.
I did notice that there were a few small seeds, but they weren’t as hard as normal grape seeds, and weren’t a problem to eat.
You can bet I’ll be looking for Thomcord grapes every year.
Note: I used the two full pounds of grapes for the pie, which is a little more than I usually use, but it definitely wasn’t too much for the 9″ pie. But it would probably be fine with the 4 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds) that I usually use.