Concord Grape Pie....An Adventure in Kitchen Meditation

Stemmed Concord grapes
As many of you know, I live in Concord, Massachusetts....home of the shot heard' 'round the world, literary luminaries (Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, etc), and the Concord grape. When we moved to our current house, less than a mile from Ephraim Bull's (the original propagator of the Concord grape) cottage our then 2nd grade daughter begged us to plant some grape vines on our fence.  For many years, the harvest was to be generous... pitiful.  Maybe a handful of grapes would be gathered if we were lucky.  Well, time and patience has finally paid off...this year we had a bumper crop of Concord grapes.  Two grocery bags full are on my kitchen counter! And that 2nd grade daughter who begged for the grape vines on the fence, is now a 2nd grade teacher (as I said, time and patience are key to growing grapes).

A couple of years ago, when our vines started to produce more than a handful of grapes a season, I searched for something unique to do with the grapes and came across a recipe for Concord Grape Pie online.  Serendipitously, it was posted on a site called and the "pie chef" was none other than a Concord friend of mine, Jane Fisher.

Separating the skin from the pulp of the Concord grapes
Partaking in baking with Concord grapes is a mindful experience -- they are bountiful for only a short time each year in the beginning of September.  They do not ship well, so are not often found in bulk in grocery stores nationwide. To make a pie from Concord grapes, one must first stem the grapes, then separate the inside from the skin, and finally remove the seeds.  While this may sound like an arduous process, it is actually simple, repetitive, filled with touch, sight, smell, taste, sound and becomes what I fondly refer to as "kitchen meditation".

So it is with mindful gratitude to Jane Fisher that I share this recipe for:

Concord Grape Pie

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

9" unbaked pie crust (double crust or single crust with crumb topping)
About 1.5 pounds (4 cups) Concord grapes
3/4 - 1 cup sugar (I use 3/4 c)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 TB butter melted
1 TB lemon juice

(I usually make a double crust pie, but if you prefer a crumb topping, follow the recipe below )
Crumb topping
1/2 cup quick or rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter melted

Remove grapes from stems. Slip skins from grapes (it's easy to do, just squeeze gently and the skin will separate from the pulp), placing the pulp in a medium saucepan and reserving the skins in a bowl. Bring the pulp to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. The pulp will soften and get lighter in color.

Press the pulp through a sieve into a medium bowl; this will remove the seeds. Add the skins to the pulp. Melt butter and add butter and lemon juice to grape mixture.
Concord Grape Pie

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the grape mixture and stir well. Pour into an unbaked pie crust and either cover with a crust or sprinkle crumb topping over the top of the pie.

Bake at 400° F for about 40 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and topping is lightly browned.
Concord Grape Pie