Concord Grape Pie-Bánh Nho Nướng

Vietnamese food

It has been three years that I had looked at these gorgeous ripe Concord grape clusters wasted on the ground or shriveled, rotten on the vines at work.  I picked some up a few days ago and start playing with them.  I made grape juice.  May I boast?  100% organic grape juice from my kitchen free.  It is easy and do not require any special tool but my eyes are beaming at the steamed juice extractor when searching online. Concord grape is one of only few fruit native to North America, with a high concentration of vitamin C and antioxidants to promote heart health and support a healthy immune system.

I did not know Concord grape pie is so popular in the other side of the country until I learn how to make this pie.  The Grape Pie Queen of Naples, New York, Irene Bouchard, is using only 1 tablespoon of tapioca for the filling.   The filling is slightly running with two tablespoons tapioca.

For the filling:
   5 cups concord grapes, rinsed and stemmed
   3/4 cup sugar
   3 Tbs tapioca
   1 Tbs unsalted butter
For pastry: make one 9 in. double crust pie
   2½ cups all purpose flour
   1 tsp salt
   1 Tbs sugar
   1 cup unsalted butter, cold cut in 1/2 in cubes
   1/2 cup ice water
   1 large egg
   Sanding sugar (optional)

Place flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix them all together. Add butter and pulse about 10 seconds. Turn the machine on and add water in slow, steady stream through the feeding tube until the dough start to hold together in moist clumps.  Divide the dough into 2.  Place one half on a piece of plastic wrap, gather dough and make a few quick kneads to smooth the dough into a ball,  then flatten to form a flat dish.  Wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Roll one disk into 12 inches on a lightly floured surface, then fit into a 9-inch pie dish.  Trim the edge 1/2 in. around the rim, fold it under to form a double edge. Crimp edges as desired and refrigerate until firm about 30 minutes-1 hour.  Roll the remaining dough into a thin sheet and cut into leaves and circles for decoration. Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate until use.  Need to cover the dough with plastic wrap if refrigerate overnight.

Pinch the grape, remove and save the skin in a large bowl.  Slip the pulp into a medium saucepan.  Cook the pulp over medium high heat, stir often until soft and break down about 5 minutes.  Strain the hot pulp through a sieve with a flexible spatula into the reserved skin bowl.  Discard the seeds.  Set aside to cool completely. Stir sugar and tapioca into grape mixture.  Filling can be refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 oF.  Beat egg with 1 tablespoon and brush the edge of pie dough with egg mixture.  Brush the leaves and circles dough too. Sprinkle sanding sugar on decorated dough.  Pour the filling into the pie shell and scatter butter on the top. Put the pie pan on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake pie  and decorated dough leaves and circles for 20 minutes. Turn oven temperature down to 350 oF and bake until the filling bubbling and jiggle and the crust is golden brown. about 30 minutes.  Cover the edge with foil when it is golden brown before the crust.  Remove decorated dough when they are golden brown too.

Transfer the pie on a cooling rack.  Arrange decorated leaves and circles on the pie surface.  The pie is best served on the day it is made with ice cream.

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