This Concord grape and goat cheese pie is truly unique – it has bold grape flavors that get tempered by a creamy layer of goat cheese at the bottom of the pie crust. Best served with peanut butter ice cream.
Allow me to introduce you to my arch-nemesis, the Concord grape:
I love you. I hate you. Let’s be best friends.
Like most relationships ours is a complicated one – equal parts adoration and contempt.
Half of me is looking at these pictures thinking GET IN MAH BELLLLYYYY and the other half is thinking NEVER AGAIN.
See here’s the thing that no one tells you about Concord grapes before you buy two pounds of them and fully commit to making a pie (unless you, unlike me, actually read through recipe instructions before buying all the ingredients to make them):
So. Many. Seeds. All of which need to be removed before baking. And it’s not like cherries where they make a cute little deseeding tool for that. Ohhhhhhhh no. You are about to embark on this deseeding mission by hand!!!
Grab a glass of wine and a comfy chair, because this is gonna take a while.
To be fair, there is nothing HARD about deseeding these grapes. The pulps separate from the skins way more easily than I would have ever dreamed was possible but plucking the seeds out is harrowing and messy. Partly because those are slippery little buggers but also because each grape has a variable number of seeds in it so you are constantly second guessing whether you really got them all out.
That being said, even with hindsight being 20/20, if given the chance for a redo I would have still forged full speed ahead with making this pie because it was such a unique and delicious eating experience. There is no flavor quite as grape-y as Concord grape and it goes so perfectly with the creamy goat cheese layer. They almost melt together in a really magical way.
The only thing I would do differently is to start the grape pitting process well ahead of time. Like, not at 8PM, which is when I did it. I was in a rush because I didn’t want to go to bed super late and let’s just say it was a harried and stressful process.
Don’t be like me. Plan ahead. Pit your grapes the day before. YOU WILL BE SO GRATEFUL.
Oh and buy a carton of peanut butter ice cream to eat with this. You will be LIVING THE DREAM if you do.
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted European-style butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ½ cup ice
- 1 cup ice water
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 lb concord grapes, stemmed
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¼ cup tapioca pearls
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 4 oz goat cheese, room temperature
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the cold butter cubes and toss so that they are coated with the flour. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the largest butter pieces are the size of peas. The rest of the mixture should look and feel like Parmesan cheese.
- Place the ice in a liquid measuring cup. Add ice water until it reaches the 1 cup mark, then stir in the apple cider vinegar.
- Add the ice water-vinegar mixture to the pie crust mixture by the tablespoon, mixing with your hands, until the dough comes together. Remove it from the bowl and cut it into two equal pieces. Pat each piece into a 2-inch thick disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Once chilled, roll one disc of dough into a 13-inch round and the second into a 10-inch round on a floured surface. Fit the larger one into a pie plate, letting the extra dough hang over the edge. Place in the refrigerator. For the second disc of dough, place on a baking sheet, wrap with plastic wrap, and transfer to the fridge until you're ready to assemble the pie.
- Gently squeeze the grapes to separate the pulps from the skins. Set the skins aside - you will need them later. Remove the seeds from the grape pulp over a bowl to catch all of the juices. Discard the seeds. Transfer the grape pulps and juice to a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Remove any additional seeds that you may have missed.
- In a large bowl, combine the grape pulps with the grape skins. Stir in the lemon juice, sugar, tapioca pearls, and salt.
- When you're ready to assemble the pie, remove the unbaked crusts from the refrigerator. Crumble the goat cheese evenly over the bottom of the pie shell. Spread into an even layer with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Pour the grape mixture on top. Dot with the butter cubes. Place the second crust on top and crimp as desired. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 450F.
- Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg. Use a paring knife to cut steam vents in the top. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is starting to turn golden brown. Decrease the temperature to 325F and bake for an additional 50-70 minutes, or until you can see through the vents that the pie juices are bubbling in the center of the pie.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Allow to cool completely, 4-6 hours. Slice and serve.
I knew exactly where you were going with the Grape seeds!
Could you cook them down first and then strain to remove the seeds? Or would that be too difficult because of the pulp you need for the filling?
Yes, cook first then strain pulp. SO much easier. Been making grape pies for decades and have never removed the seeds before cooking.
Those grapes may be a pain but that pie? PERFECTION! Nicely done.
Grandmother taught me to make Concord grape pie when I was 4 (almost 50 years ago). Cook innards down and sieve our seeds. Takes 10 minutes. Thrown peels back in, and that’s that. I always think of Grandma while slipping grapes – my favorite pie of all time. Looking forward to trying this goat cheese variation.