I changed my mind when I had my first bite of one on a ski trip in Tahoe, and everyone decided to save some money and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the slopes. Something about the earthy peanut butter worked so well with the juicy jelly. I rarely eat them now, but they definitely inspired this elevated pie, which uses real Concord grapes and a rich white chocolate peanut butter crust. Perfect for when you want to be a kid, without looking like one.
I use tapioca starch (otherwise known as tapioca flour) as the thickener in this pie. If you don’t have any, you can substitute cornstarch at a 1:1 ratio, but the pie filling may look a little more cloudy. This pie takes a little bit of work to make, because you have to press the concord grapes through a metal sieve to remove the seeds and skin. If you are lucky enough to have a food mill, you can use that and save yourself some elbow grease. Either way, the pie will invoke a nostalgic sense of childhood, biting into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Well, most people’s childhoods at least, not mine.
Prep time: 45 minutes plus 1 hour rest time for dough to chill
Cook Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Total time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Yield: 8-10 servings
For the peanut butter crust
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup cold White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter
2/3 cup ice cold water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water for egg wash
For the grape filling
5 cups of Concord grapes (about 1 1/2 pounds de-stemmed or 2 pounds with stems)
1 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons tapioca starch (also known as tapioca flour)
2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups of black seedless grapes (about 1 pound de-stemmed or 1 1/2 with stems)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons of decorative sparkling sugar for top crust (or white granulated sugar)
1. Make the peanut butter crust by placing the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces and sprinkle it over the flour. Toss the butter until each piece is coated with flour. Add the White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter and cut it up into 1/2-inch chunks as well. Toss to coat.
2. Using your hands, squeeze the butter and peanut butter in the flour, until all the pieces are smashed. Then start rubbing and squeezing flour, butter and peanut butter together until the ingredients start to become sandy and clump together a bit when you grab a handful and squeeze. Sprinkle the water over the mixture and toss with a wooden spoon or spatula until a shaggy dough forms. Using your hands, start kneading the dough until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Split the dough into two disks, flatten and wrap securely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
3. Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Roll out one disk of the dough on a generously floured surface and move it to the pie tin. Prick the bottom of the tin with a fork and line it with a piece of parchment paper. Fill the tin with pie weights, dry beans or uncooked rice. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the pie crust from the oven, and gently lift the parchment paper filled with the pie weights off the pie crust. Brush bottom and sides of the crust with the egg wash and place back in the oven for 5 more minutes or until the crust look dry and shiny. Remove and let cool on a rack while you make the filling.
4. Combine the Concord grapes, sugar, tapioca starch, lemon zest, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in a medium pan. Cook on medium heat, stirring until the grapes start to juice. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let the grape filling simmer until it thickens, about 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the grape filling into a large sieve with a bowl underneath it. Press the grapes with a large spatula, trying to get as much filling as possible, leaving behind the seeds and the skin.
5. Scrape the filling into the pre-baked pie crust. Add the 3 cups of black seedless grapes to the pie crust as well, distributing the grapes throughout the pie. Dot the top of the pie with the 2 tablespoons of butter.
6. Roll out the second pie crust dough and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter of your choice (I went with stars). Place the cut out dough on top of the filling, overlapping here and there and covering as much of the top of the pie as you can, leaving a little room here and there for steam to vent. Brush the top of the pie dough with the leftover egg wash and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of sparking sugar.
7. Place the pie on a baking sheet with edges to catch any drips and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the filling is bubbling around the edges. The filling will look loose, but firm up as it cools.
8. Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack and serve same day.
PEANUT BUTTER GIVEAWAY
Irvin uses star cut outs of pie crust dough to top the pie. What other sort of cut outs or design would you imagine covering a pie like this with?
Leave a comment below with your answer to enter for a chance at winning a jar of White Chocolate Wonderful, the peanut butter used in this recipe!
– The giveaway is open to USA residents only and will run until Monday, September 17, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST.
– One entry per person.
– Winner(s) will be generated via a random number generator and notified via the contact email provided on the comment form.
– Winner(s) will have until 9/20/12 to claim their prize or we will choose another winner.
– Winner will win one 16oz jar of White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter ($6 value). Product will be shipped by Peanut Butter & Co.
– No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age to enter. See Official Giveaway Rules.