The start of Fall always gives me anxiety. The idea of Fall feels great: crisp morning air, great running weather, leather boots, oversized scarves, apple picking…it all sounds so welcoming and chic.
The thing is, though, that I live in New York. And while Fall in New York does support the aforementioned for a period of time, it’s usually for no more than a couple of weeks. Once Fall really sets in we have the luxury of waking up to days of rain, cold temperatures and unflattering parkas. It’s honestly just rude.
Still, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. For now I’m going to welcome Fall with open arms. I can’t think of a better way than with a Concord Grape Tart. Or an new leather jacket.
Concord Grape Tart
First things first, we gotta put in some work. Concord grapes have seeds and, well, they need to come out. To start, we pull of the skin. Pretty easy stuff. Just pinch one end of the grape and the grape’s flesh will pop right out. This would be a great opportunity to grab a partner or kid for help. Don’t have that option? Me neither. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Grapes for grapes.
We cook the grape flesh to extract the juice and break down the pulp, allowing for easier seed removal. Push the grape pulp through a fine mesh strainer and we have de-seeded grape glory. Add sugar & previously removed grape skins and then we simmer away until pie-filling-like.
We prepare the dough. Ain’t no different than when we made Tomato Pie. I used 3 – 4.5″ tart pans with removable bottoms for this recipe but you can totally use one full-size tart pan or pie dish. Be yourself!
Now, we assemble. Pie dough in pans. Grape filling in pie dough. Crumbs on top. Lots and lots of crumbs. Don’t be shy.
Take a minute to remind yourself of how mind-blowing this is going to taste. It’s all about creating excitement.
Baked, cooled & removed from tart pan. Do yourself a major favor and top with vanilla ice cream.
- 4 cups (2 quarts) Concord Grapes
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cups flour, all-purpose
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup buter, cut into pieces & very cold
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp vodka
- 3-4 tbsp ice water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/3 cup butter, cubed & very cold
- Remove skin from grapes by pinching at one end. Reserve the skins in a bowl and set aside, keeping the flesh of the grapes separate from the skin and in a saucepan.
- Cook the grape flesh over medium-low heat, occasionally breaking up with a potato masher. After the mixture has loosened, about 10-15 minutes, push through a fine mesh strainer or food-mill. I put mine through a mesh strainer, a little at a time, pushing the mixture through by pressing down and vigorously stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Once the seeds have been removed, add the sugar & reserved grape skins to the mixture. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. About 30-40 mins.
- Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- On a flat surface or in a bowl, mix together flour & salt. Cut in the butter using a bench scrape or pastry cutter until the mixture has pieces the size of peas. Form into a mound and make a well in the center. Add the egg yolk & vodka to the well and begin to incorporate using a fork. Slowly add in the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, using the bench scraper to incorporate until the flour is moistened and starts to hold its shape when pieces of the dough are squeezed together.
- Fraisage the dough. (For fraisaging help, reference: my Rustic Plum Galette)
- Form into a ball and flatten so it resembles a disk shape. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, until you achieve a thickness of about 1/4″ throughout.
- Place the dough in an 8″ pie plate or tart pan.
- Refrigerate until assembly.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and begin to combine with your hands. Continue to work the mixture until he butter is well distributed and the mixture feels moist throughout. For larger crumbs, simple squeeze handfuls of the mixture together.
- Freeze until assembly.
Note: If you have any crumbs left over, store in the freezer. They will keep 2-3 months.
- Add the cooled Concord Grape filling to the tart shell and top with crumb mixture.
- Bake at 425°F until the tart shell and crumb topping have become golden brown & the filling, bubbly, about 30-35 minutes.
- Let cool on a wire rack. At least 30 minutes.