The pie featured in this post, similar to the Eggnog Chiffon Pie I recently shared with you all, was a quiet pause in a whirlwind season. August 2019. Let me tell you about August 2019. August 2019 was the last full month before I began a several-month resignation process from my amazing job. It was also the month we took then 14-month-old Pippa to Spain for two weeks to celebrate Mommy and Daddy’s 10th anniversary in Madrid and meet her little British buddy Apphia in Barcelona, but mostly to attend the wedding reception of her honorary aunt and uncle Gee Gee and Tio Stinky in beautiful seaside Alicante. If that weren’t enough for one month, in the final days of August 2019, we took Pippa to Minnesota for her first fishing vacation! (A truly momentous occasion for a descendant of the Sweeny family.)
I’d had my eyes open for champagne grapes for years already, knowing that this pie would be delicious and a snap to make as soon as I could find this elusive fruit. Trader Joe’s must have had them when I shopped after our return from Spain, and I probably baked this pie after a LONG week at week (helping to facilitate trainings more or less every day, as I can remember) and it was probably just what I needed to do on August 26th, 2019 – e-mail pileup from being on vacation be darned!
This is one of those perfectly simple recipes. Some sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch. A little milk and sugar glaze on the top pastry. That’s it, folks. Keep this one in your memory banks, and if you spy some champagne grapes this summer, just remember, “Jess said to make a pie with these.” In fact, I’m going to include the recipe below, so you’ll have no excuses. I’ll try to remember to link back to this post at a seasonally appropriate time as an extra reminder. Please do send me a photo if you try it yourself! 🙂
Bonus healthy living points if you eat your pie topped with cottage cheese. My sweet little baby!
A few relevant tidbits:
- Champagne grapes, when labeled as such, are also known as Corinth or Black Corinth grapes. They are not “the grapes Champagne is made from”. As far as I can tell, the name “Champagne” is just a fun name designed by marketers. Kind of like “Cotton Candy” grapes. If you want to learn more about what grapes you should make your own champagne with…well…you might be reading the wrong blog. 🙂
- The only other grape pie I’ve made, to date, was this delightful and storied Grape and Fig Pie.
Champagne Grape Pie
A double crust pie pastry (Basic Flaky or Extra Flaky from Ken’s book, if you have it, work well – or, use your own!)
For the FILLING:
4 cups champagne grapes, stemmed
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
21/2 tablespoons cornstarch
For the GLAZE:
Milk or light cream
- If you haven’t already, prepare pie pastry and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.
- On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the larger portion of the pastry into a 12-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert the pastry over a 9-inch standard pie pan, center, and peel off the paper. Gently tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and let the overhang drape over the edge. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- In a medium-size bowl, combine the grapes, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the lemon juice. Mix well and set aside to juice for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- On another sheet of floured waxed paper, roll the other half of the pastry into a 10-inch circle. Combine the remaining 11/2 tablespoons sugar and the cornstarch in small bowl, then stir the mixture into the fruit. Turn the filling into the chilled pie shell, smoothing the top with a spoon. Lightly moisten the rim of the pie shell. Invert the top pastry over the filling, center, and peel off the paper. Press the top and bottom pastries together along the dampened edge. Using the back of a butter knife or pastry knife, trim the pastry flush with the edge of the pan, then pinch the edges together to seal. Poke several steam vents in the top of the pie with a fork or paring knife. Put a couple of the vents near the edge of the crust so you can check the juices there later. To glaze the pie, lightly brush the pastry with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
- Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and rotate the pie 180 degrees, so that the part that faced the back of the oven now faces forward. Just in case, slide a large aluminum foil–lined baking sheet onto the rack below to catch any spills. Continue to bake until the top is golden brown and any visible juices bubble thickly through the steam vents, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 2 hours before serving.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Recipe from Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes by Ken Haedrich, published by Harvard Common Press.