The autumn season is almost upon us. The colors are starting to change, the air feels crisp, and the aromatics of the fall harvest at the farmers market are intoxicating.
I don’t know about you, but I start to think of the many delicious varieties of pies that the season brings us, apple, pumpkin, pear… One of my favorites is the concord grape tart. It’s very distinctive bouquet recreates some of those magical moments as a child when I was introduced to a new awareness of scent…
The inspiration for this mouth watering tart came from Deborah Madison’s “Local Flavor”.
What a beautiful way to celebrate the change of seasons.
Concord Grape Tart serves 6-8
Once a year I have the opportunity to make this extraordinary Tart. The grapes in this case come from the Santa Fe Farmers Market. I wait patiently until September to gather them. It is a little work, but so worth the effort. When feeling ambitious I have made two. It freezes well.
2 1/2 pounds purple Concord grapes
1/2 cup raw sugar cane
3 tablespoons all purpose flour or minute tapioca
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 ( 9 inch ) Tart shell (Gluten free flour) recipe to follow
Food mill required
Squeeze the grapes with your fingers, putting the insides into a saucepan and the skins in a separate bowl. Bring the skinned grapes to a boil and cook until they turn white and soft. about 7-10 minutes.
- Pass them through a food mill to separate the seeds, working the pulp into the bowl with the skins. Stir in the sugar,flour,lemon zest and juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 400 . Scrape the filling into the pre baked tart shell, and set on a sheet pan. Bake until the filling is set, about 35 minutes. Let cool. Serve alone, or with softly whipped cream..
Tart Shell – Makes one 9-inch Tart
This is a basic tart shell to be used for sweet and savory Tarts
1 cup plus 2 Tablspoons all purpose flour ( Bobs Gluten free all purpose flour)
1 3/4 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum ( add to flour)
1 teaspoon sugar ( I like turbinado )
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter in chunks ( cold )
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract mixed with 2-3 tablespoons ice water ( I use 3 )
1. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, or a food processor,blend the flour, salt, sugar, then work in the butter gradually, until course crumbs are formed. Add the vanilla with just enough water for the dough to come together. ( do not over mix ) . Then shape the dough into a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes.
2. Roll the dough into a 10 inch circle and drape it over a 9 inch tart pan with a removable rim. Work the edges with your fingers so that the dough stands about 1/4 inch above the rim, and is about 1/4 inch thick. Prick the bottom with a fork about 8-9- places, then freeze for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425 F .
3. Place the frozen tart shell on a sheet pan and bake until it’s lightly colored. ( about 15-20 minutes ) Check after 15 minutes and prick any swollen pockets of dough with the tip of knife.
- Cooks note. You can use Gluten free all purpose flour, both for the Tart shell and the flour that goes into the mixture. I like Bobs red mill. The texture will be slightly different, but equally delicious. When using Gluten free flour it is essential to add xanthan gum for a superior crust.