Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Benefits of Concord Grapes

Box of Concord Grapes..smells divine!

It's Autumn..time for nesting, a little cooking, a little baking. As I look at all our blogs out there, it seems many feel the same about Fall. Colorful trees, bountiful harvests, warming our homes with all things good and simple. Last weekend I learned how to make grape pie, my husband's new fave!  Surprisingly, it wasn't hard, just labor intensive. Passing some grape vines started me looking into the health benefits of grapes and I learned:

Aren't they pretty?!

Concord grape juice helps keep arteries clear and flexible to help promote healthy circulation and lower blood pressure. No beverage has more antioxidant capacity per serving than grape juice made from Concord grapes. It supports a healthy immune system and fights the effects of aging on the mind and body, according to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2006.
 Recipe ideas...
1/2 c grape juice/ 1/2 c soda water offers a refreshing energy boost to your morning...
made as a savory compote, its a delicious accompaniment to pork, chicken, or turkey dishes..Martha Stewart magazine featured one in the last issue.
Now here is my guilty pleasure recipe for Concord Grape Pie:
Next pie I'll have to make a more "Martha" crust  (they are pure artwork)...this was about learning the process of making concord grape pie.
Concord Grape Pie

5c concord grapes
1 1/4c sugar
1/4 flour
3/4 t lemon juice
11/2T butter
Pie crusts
Prep pie pans with bottom dough  preheat oven to 400 degrees
Measure sugar and flour into a medium bowl , set aside.
Peel skins and place grapes in pan . Save skins! Cook grapes over med low heat and mash slowly with potato masher to help remove the seeds. Cook pulp and seeds til a rolling boil. Remove from heat and put pulpy juice thru a strainer to remove the seeds. Place strained pulp back into pan and add skins and lemon juice. Bring to a boil stirring frequently. 
Remove from heat allow to cool a bit.  Pour flour sugar mixture over grape pulp stir. Pour into crust. Add crust top (be sure to slit crust for breathing as it bakes) or crumble top. Bake  40-50 minutes. Pie Freezes well. Make one now and treat family to a new pie for Thanksgiving! 

Notes: the pulp will look a bit greenish yellow until the skins are added back in. The skins add color and flavor.  The skins cook down and blend into the pulp.



Notice the pulp color is a yellowish green. Once the grapes are mashed into a pulp, run the mix thru a strainer to remove the seeds.

Adding the skins back into the grape pulp is what gives it that beautiful, rich color.