Making a grape pie is a labor of love, especially for people in the grape-growing region of Naples, New York. While other parts of the United States might be more famous for their grapes, the people of Naples have a fierce pride in their local viticulture, as well as their renowned grape pies.
As well they should, because most recipes for a single grape pie start out with two pounds of grapes that need to be peeled. Thankfully, the grape of choice is the Concord variety, with skin that’s easy to slip off. But the skins need to be saved. After the yellow, peeled grapes have been cooked and mixed with sugar, the seeds can easily be strained out. Then, the skins are added right back into the hot pulp, so that the filling takes on the typical grape color and flavor. This convoluted method keeps the tannic grape skin from turning the filling too bitter. When baked in a pie crust, the result is a wine-flavored, jammy, and complex pie that’s worth all the peeling.
Need to Know
Grape pies are at their peak in fall, during the Concord grape harvest.
Where to Try It
While many people make grape pie, this bakery is one of the more famous establishments.