Posted by: David | January 28, 2009

Snow Day Pie

We ended up getting a solid foot of fluffy snow today. It’s still snowing. School was canceled, and the college was closed. This is a rare event, since most of the students live on campus, and all the operations to support the residence halls and dining hall must continue while the students are on campus. But hey it was a big storm, so classes were canceled and the college was officially closed. SNOW DAY!!

I’d decided the night before to buy stuff for a grape pie that I’ve been thinking about ever since CuriousC at Idea Jump posted the recipe way back in November of aught-7. Yes, a grape pie. Why does that sound weird? So I bought a couple pounds of Chilean seedless grapes, large and purply, and a couple of frozen pie crusts. Had everything else already.

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4 cups grapes cut in half + 2/3 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder.

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Bring to a boil then add cornstarch + lemon juice & zest. Cook till it thickens.

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Bake 20 min. at 425°F, then turn down to 350
°F for another half hour.

After the 20 minutes in the 425°F oven, it was already quite golden. I’d forgotten to cover it with foil. D’OH! Oh well. Cooked it about another 25 minutes then took it out to cool. After an hour or so I cut into it and my wife and I sampled it. It was pretty good, but we decided that it wasn’t quite the grape flavor we’d expected. So next time we’ll try it with some grapier grapes. Maybe Concord grapes? Would need to get the seeds out somehow …

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The cinammon and lemon combine nicely with the grape flavor.

It’s a winner! Thanks CuriousC! For your convenience, the recipe is copied and pasted below:

Grape Pie (*source unknown!)

4 cups halved seedless red (or black) grapes (~2#)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated lemon peel
pastry for double crust pie
2 Tbsp butter
(and half-n-half and cool sugar if you got it…)

In saucepan, combine grapes, sugar and cinnamon;  tossing to coat and letting stand for ~15 minutes.   Combine cornstarch, lemon juice and peel and stir this into the grapes.    Turn on the heat and bring to boil; cook & stir for ~2 minutes or til thickened.

Line pie plate with dough.  Add filling.   DOT WITH BUTTER.  Place top dough, cut slits, trim seal & flute the edges.    Brush with half-n-half and sprinkle the ‘cool’ sugar (like Domino’s demerara cane sugar).

Cover edges loosely with foil.   Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees, remove foil and bake 30-35 min til golden.   Cool on wire rack.

Gotta love them snow days!

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Responses

  1. It’s snowed a bit less than a foot here, but it was still a doozy….but I went to work so there was no pie-experimentation on my part (and yes…how odd a grape-pie sounds…I’m glad you liked it, but I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to pies, as well as in all my other areas of life, haha 😉 )

    Yeah, totally traditional you are. How about a nice pigeon crap pie? MMmmm. 🙂

  2. Wow. I’m in East Texas.

    The closest thing we have to Snow Days are….Freezer Defrosting Fridays. We’ll get scrapers and chisel away ice overgrowth on the old G.E. Very exciting and on good days, we can scrape enough to provide one small cereal bowl of SE Texas’ version of snow ice cream.

    We add ketchup.

    LK

    Hmm. That sounds pretty gross. I would’ve thought you’d use barbecue sauce. Oh well, to each their own. Thanks for your comment Laurie.

  3. lol @ “grapier grapes”

    🙂

  4. Damn! And you cook/bake too!

    Not me.

    I think kitchen is a French word meaning: passageway to the back yard.

    Didn’t stop me from starting a cookbook though. But it says a lot about it that the first chapter was how to buy a fire extinguisher.

    I never got it done. I could make up the history of utensils but, funny thing, my agent said publishers wanted recipes.

    Peah! Isn’t the phonebook good enough?

    And luckily the phone book also has the number for the Poison Control Center in the front.

    I bet your cookbook woulda been a laff riot. I’d also lay odds on one of your “utensils” was The Bucket. You know Billy Connolly’s line about losing weight? “If you want to lose weight, don’t eat foods that come in a bucket.” 😀

  5. Oh, yummy! Did it taste like grape jelly or grape candy? I really love grapes but hate the processed taste of “grape.” I’m very intrigued.

    Wow Ceridwen, you are like the FIRST person to say yummy. Everyone at work that I told about looked at me for a beat or two, then asked “Oh? What kind of pie did you make?” thinking I’d said “great pie”, because for some reason “grape pie” just does not compute.

    But anyway, the flavor was not the grape jelly flavor that we’d expected. It was good, but the giant black seedless grapes from Chile had that non-descript genetically modified taste. I need to try some Concord variety grapes and maybe skip the cinnamon next time. And maybe a homemade crust or graham cracker crust?

  6. So this is when I can tell you the problem of working from a home office — NO SNOW DAYS! Or maybe every day is a snow day! We are up to our eyeballs in snow. I am just shocked at how clean your oven is. You are a true Renaissance Man, David. The pie looked delish. You said it did not taste like what you expected. What did it taste like?

    I was thinking of trying to work from home, knowing how much it sucks to come home to a giant snow barrier blocking my driveway, but that’s not really practical for me since a lot of what I do at work is running around campus helping people with stuff.

    The oven is not as clean as it looks. That thing came with the house and is probably 20 years old. It says “Continuous Cleaning Oven” on it. We vacuumed it out after a recent spill-burnage mess. Appreciate your approval!

    The grapes were kinda bland tasting, as overly hybridized fruits sometime are. Big giant sugary juicy nothings. Not to complain, it was good, but just not the grape “experience” our brains were anticipating. The cinnamon and lemon flavors easily got past the grape flavor.

  7. I enjoyed starting it because I could make things up but once it got to the point I figured I might not be able to BS my way through it became less fun.

    I remember getting into an argument with my agent because he didn’t think my two rule when cooking was good. Whatever it was, utensil, plate/pan/bowl, ingredient, there could only be two of them (including what you ate off and with) and it had to be prepared in the time of your average commercial break and cook no longer than it took for the next commercial break to start. I even had a friend, a very good cook, who was going to work on that with me. In the end, I only finished two chapters: How To Pick A Fire Extinguisher, Utensils: Hand Tools and Power Tools.

    I don’t know why you’d want to, but, you could see them here: http://home.comcast.net/~czell/cook.htm

    In the end I still had fun and got to mess with the agent before I dumped him/he dumped me (depending on who you talk to). I knew our days were over so I called with a great idea for a book (I knew he’d hate). I told him I wanted to do the small penis handbook.

    You could have heard, to paraphrase Warren Zevon, the air conditioner hum. He froze. So I explained it wasn’t a handbook for small penises, who’d be ballsy enough to buy that? It was the size of the handbook was small (I’m sure you can imagine the size and shape).

    I’m sure he was typing the cessation of representation letter before we were off the phone.

    Well I sure am glad that you’re able to instantly publish yourself via blogosphere. Thanks for the link CZ.

    It’s your small-penised agent’s loss I guess. It’s hilarious! There’s something for everyone in that book, history, intrigue, conspiracy, croutons, everything except recipes, which suits me fine as they are usually very hard to follow what with all the teaspoons and tablespoons and ingredients – – – way too much math for me. The Pavlovian approach is the one for me, ding ding, and I don’t need no gosh-darned instructions for making delicious gopher spleen! This cookbook is for the seriously disturbed chef! 😀

  8. I had to take the computer back to the shop. Now all is fine, I hope. The Avast is gone. The AVG is in. I’ll be back tomorrow to read here.

  9. Well, you see a pie of this kind is called a “friendship pie”. I forgot how to say it in French, where it sounds more classy, but the idea is the same.

    As it is somewhat difficult and long to make, you would not make it just for yourself, nor would you risk making it for some business acquaintances. You can only make it for your friends, who won’t mind if it tastes a little strange.

    I think you could put pretty much any kind of fruit + sugar + cornstarch into some pie crust and get something yummy. There is no risk in pie making. 🙂

  10. It could be called La Tarte de l’Amitié, I suppose, but that is not what your real Chef would call it. The art is to give it a figurative name, as when they call boiled potatoes “pommes de terre en robe de chambre”. That would be “potatoes in their bath robes”, wouldn’t it?

    That’s nice, La Tarte de l’Amitié. Let’s call it that. Avec des fruits.

  11. Hi! I know I read this post but alas did not comment? oh well. I agree that most any fruit + sugar + cornstarch in a pie shell = yummy! I just love the color of purple pie and I don’t think I even thought about how grapey it was… Glad it was good and good luck with the next attempt!

    I thought it was good enough to try again. I may have been a cult of one in that. I totally agree with your formula fruit + sugar + cornstarch in a pie shell = yummy! 🙂


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