Monday, November 3, 2008

Three Day Pie

Easy as pie? Not when Martha's involved.

My whole adventure with this pie started while in a farmers' market: ever since maybe mid-October I kept seeing boxes of Concord grapes on the tables. I never knew grapes were local produce! OK, well, I knew they were growing them for wine purposes in the Northeast, but I didn't know our hostile climate could support the same ones that go in Smucker's Grape Jelly! I had really thought that Concord grapes were a made up thing. This discovery was exciting, but since I don't really have any great love for jelly I wasn't really interested in making that with them. And anyway, jelly is too easy.

So what to do? I asked Google and apparently you can make pie with them! Or, you can if you're crazy and don't have anything to do all weekend. For guidance, I turned to the expert on difficult ingredients and recipes that take forever: Martha Stewart. Bear in mind, this recipe only had three steps....and it took me three days. Martha is exacting in her baking and has no time whatsoever for short cuts, busy lives, or excuses such as homework, going outside or a death in the family. You are making pie. Too fucking bad.

So on the first day I made the crust, which then had to be refridged over night. This would have been pretty straight forward except that my food processor was too small to make two pie crusts in at once....whoops. After about 20 minutes of cheerleading and burning smells, I gave up and used my hands.

The next day I had to deskin three quarts of grapes which, even with roommate assistance took FOREVER. Then I boiled the grapes to separate the seeds out (every grape had, like, 3 seeds in it.) Then I mushed the grapes through a strainer into the bowl with the skins/onto the counter. Then, get this, Martha told me to THROW OUT THE GRAPES leaving only the skins and the grape juice I had just spent two hours making. Then the skin/juice mixture went into the fridge for two hours.

While that was coagulating or whatever it was doing in there I took out the pie crusts, and this is where the chilling overnight came in handy. I rolled out the two crusts in five seconds! One of the crusts was for pie....topper...things....which were supposed to be made using grape leaf cookie cutters (who has those?) but I liked the stars even better....and besides, I already had those.

Ok there they are. Anyway, fast forward....let's get to the good part! So I baked the pie....but remember: this is only day two. Even though the house was filled with tempting pie smells, my roommates couldn't eat it yet because it was still super wobbly and weird. Admittedly, I was a little concerned because the pie was supposed to "jiggle," but my pie was sloshing.

But when I woke up it was fine! More congealing had taken place! Delicious! I stuck the stars on and we were good to go! Finally! Pie! Exclamation points! I was still a little wary about the texture, since the entire pie was basically grape skins. Fortunately for my reputation it was just fine, AND it made everyone's mouth purple like we had been drinking Carlo Rossi. Here is my three day Concord grape election day pie in blue and pie crust color.....

And on the last day I saw that it was good. And I ate it.

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