FOOD & RECIPES
Concord Grape Pie
Nothing says fall in Upstate New York like a grape pie. This grapey Naples, NY confection is fairly new to the world of desserts, but it sure has made an impact. This annual treat is anticipated by many, and for some home cooks like myself worth the time-consuming effort it takes to put one together. I am not going to lie, it is work to put one of these bad boys together.
Irene Bouchard is universally recognized as the mother of Naples’ grape pies, if not their actual inventor. In the early 1960s, Al Hodges, owner of the Redwood Restaurant, decided to use a novelty dessert to attract customers. Using a recipe he adapted from Irene Bouchard, he added pies made from abundant local grapes to the menu. The Pies were a widely popular success and Irene Bouchard became known as the Grape Pie Queen of Naples, New York. It wasn’t long before other locals started baking grape pies out of their kitchens and selling them at roadside farmstands.
Concord Grapes off my home vine
It is estimated that twenty thousand pies are sold during Grape Festival Weekend alone. That is a whole lot of grape pie! But if you can’t get out to the Grape Festival this weekend I have got you covered with this recipe for Concord Grape Pie. Yes, I did say it was work, but this sweet pie is worth it!
Concord Grape Pie Making Process
Grape pie filling freezes really well, and is always a nice addition to the Thanksgiving dessert table. I have found that increasing the cornstarch by a tablespoon or 2 helps thicken any extra juice the fruit may exude during the freezing/thawing process. Once the filling is cool, pack into a ziploc bag and freeze, thaw overnight in the refrigerator when you are ready to use the pie filling.