Concord Grape Jelly, Tarts and Hand Pies

Grape tartlets 1 1024x585 Concord Grape Jelly, Tarts and Hand Pies

I love when you have a friend who goes grape picking in the Okanagan and brings you back a box of tight bunches of Coronation grapes, some with twisty vines still attached. If this hasn’t recently happened to you, sorry.

Or… perhaps we should arrange a field trip to the Okanagan?

So I have this box of Coronation grapes – the seedless version of Concords, those dusty indigo blue grapes that pop out of their skins and have far more flavour than the lacklustre green and pale purple ones you see year-round at the grocery store. They’re great for eating, but they also make delicious other things, like cakes and focaccia and chutney and jelly, which is actually a snap to make.

And it tastes surprisingly like the grape jelly of my childhood – not a whole lot more sophisticated.

Concord Grape jelly 702x1024 Concord Grape Jelly, Tarts and Hand Pies

To make Grape Jelly: simmer 1 1/2 lb Concord or Coronation grapes with 3 Tbsp. lemon juice for about 10 minutes, until the grapes pop; strain through a sieve and return the grape juice to the pan with 1 cup sugar. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, until the jam reaches 220?F on a candy thermometer. Cool and refrigerate for up to a month.

That’s it. It’s thicker than jelly, but I’m not sure I’d call it jam, as all the solids have been strained out. Preserves, perhaps? I love the purpleness of it, especially when spreading on toast or filling little tartlet cups lined with white cheddar pastry. Seemed like a good idea.

Filling grape jam tarts 1024x682 Concord Grape Jelly, Tarts and Hand Pies

Concord Grape Jelly Tarts or Hand Pies

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/4 cup shortening, chilled and cut into pieces
1/2-1 cup grated old white cheddar or 1/4 cup ground hazelnuts or pecans
2-4 Tbsp. ice-cold water

Grape jelly/preserves, for filling

Make the pastry: in a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter, shortening and cheese or hazelnuts and use a fork, pastry blender, wire whisk or the “pulse” motion of the food processor to blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal, with lumps of fat no bigger than a pea.

Drizzle the minimum amount of water over the mixture and stir until the dough comes together, adding a little more a bit at a time if you need it. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disc, wrap it in plastic and chill for at least half an hour, or freeze for up to 6 months if you want a head start on things.

To fill, roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface about 1/4-inch thick; cut into rounds with a cookie cutter or glass rim. Fit into mini muffin tins, pressing up the sides, and fill with a spoonful of jam, filling it only about halfway. If you like, cut the scraps into little shapes to place on top of the jam.

Alternatively, make little hand pies (aka turnovers) by putting a spoonful of jam in the middle of each round, brushing the edge with a little beaten egg or milk, and folding it over, turnover-style. Press the edge closed with a fork to seal, and poke the top with a fork. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Either way, bake in a preheated 400F oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Remove from the pan while still warm. Makes lots.

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September 27 2011 10:24 pm | dessert and preserves

21 Responses to “Concord Grape Jelly, Tarts and Hand Pies”

  1. Carolyn on 28 Sep 2011 at 4:58 am #

    A cheater way to make homemade grape jellly is to use bottled concord grape juice. Probably not as good as using fresh grapes but still better than what you buy and so easy. I made a batch in less than 1/2 hour.

  2. bellini on 28 Sep 2011 at 5:22 am #

    I picked Coronation grapes last week, but now I have a white grape variety that I need to do something with. This method would probably work as well.

  3. rea on 28 Sep 2011 at 8:43 am #

    you ever look at something and think joy? that’s what i got when i looked at this photo, Julie. purply joy.

    off to university.

  4. sarah on 28 Sep 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    Is it possible to process the grape jelly to keep it for longer?Sarah

  5. renee@sweetsugarbean on 28 Sep 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    The Coronation grapes were at the farmer’s market here in Saskatoon a few weeks ago, and I snapped them up, eating them like crazy for the entire week. I hope they return so I can make some jelly. Super cute tarts!

  6. susie on 29 Sep 2011 at 6:57 am #

    My family loves Concord Grape Pie. I saw they had arrived here, may have to get baking!

  7. Shirley on 29 Sep 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    The aroma, especially–simmering grapes! It’s fall in all its glory!

    Try grape pies, too–like Anna’s in my novel, Sticking Points. “Those God’s-blood pies,” Anna’s son assures her (she’s made them for a family get-together), “will be a hit.”

  8. Julia M. on 29 Sep 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Well, this happened to me yesterday. My friend gave me concords so I just made the recipe for grape jelly! Can’t wait to try it in the morning!!

  9. Karen on 30 Sep 2011 at 12:07 am #

    I’m in the Okanagan and made Coronation Grape Jelly a couple weeks ago. It puts commercial grape jelly to shame. Unfortunately, two jars have already been emptied by the kids. I might have to make more! Years ago there was an elderly gentleman who brought pails of his Concord grapes to my door every year. $5 for a grocery bag full. He is the one who got me started. I always refrigerate the juice overnight to let the tartaric acid chrystals settle out. Those are the instructions in the old recipe I use. It didn’t explain why, but I have noticed they look like tiny shards of glass. I don’t know if they would re-dissolve when juice is reheated prior to processing or not, or even if the refrigeration before processing causes them to form.

  10. Dan on 30 Sep 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Cute. These little guys are making me start thinking about holiday baking! Christmas is coming, Christmas is coming!!!!

  11. Samantha on 30 Sep 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    Mmm, those look amazing! I love a good grape jelly, and I’m totally in for a field trip!

  12. molly on 30 Sep 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    what’s this? SEEDLESS concords?? who’s holding out on the coronation grapes in the states?! we adore concords, but man, the seeds…

    may have to give this jelly a go. oh, to preserve that grapey goodness…

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    […] is a cookbook author, food writer and culinary teacher. Julie’s family-friendly food blog, Dinner With Julie, never fails to make us hungry, regardless of the time of day or what we’ve just […]

  14. laurel on 03 Oct 2011 at 9:20 am #

    Wow! I wouldn’t have thought to put grape jelly with shortbread. I also thought the process to make grape jelly involved peeling grapes! I need to try this. Thanks!

  15. chicago gym on 04 Oct 2011 at 1:32 am #

    I love grapes jelly as well as my family.Good site and wonderful recipes here to follow.Thanks.
    chicago gym

  16. donna on 04 Oct 2011 at 7:30 am #

    coronation grape the same as concord grapes? can you buy them at grocery store? when are the grapes best to pick? i was looking for a farm in massachusetts to pick them but can’t seem to find any, would you know thank you.

  17. Haruko on 05 Oct 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    I picked some up at the Farmer’s Market last weekend. I love eating them fresh but just had to try the jelly. It worked great. One changed I made was instead of straining them, I just pureed the whole thing and continued on. It worked great. It isn’t as “clear” looking as yours, but still looks and tastes good. It saved a bunch of time and I figure we could use the added fiber.
    Thanks so much for the idea.

  18. chicago gym on 11 Oct 2011 at 1:59 am #

    I love baking and especially cakes with great nutrition.Good sharing and I will try this one.
    Thanks.
    chicago gym

  19. Ashley on 11 Oct 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    So cute!

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  21. Trisan on 29 Oct 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    In the directions you say stir together the flour, sugar and salt, but in the ingredients list you don’t mention sugar at all. So how much sugar do I add ?

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