So this is really just a twist on a post I put up earlier in the month when I came upon some beautiful and delicious Concord grapes at a local farmer’s market, my Concord Grape Pie. I decided I would make one more pie while I could still get these beauties but I decided to change it up a bit. I can’t take all the credit for this idea though. I was brainstorming what I would do to change up the recipe and Troy suggested that I make a peanut butter crust. I had bought some Nutter Butter cookies because I wanted to use them for a crust for a peanut butter chocolate pie so at first I was a bit adverse to this as I was saving them (duh!) but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it! Mmmm nutter butter crust. (I will still be making that peanut butter pie in the future though, so don’t you worry! It WILL be worth the wait!)
I thought about calling this a peanut butter and jelly pie but the peanut butter component really isn’t that prominent. It could become more of a forefront flavor if some peanut butter were say, swirled into the filling or dolloped across the top of the pie. These are things I will attempt next year. It really doesn’t seem necessary though, as I actually preferred this crust to the more traditional one I made to go with the grape filling previously. This crust is pleasantly crisp and with enough body to be a bit chewy which is a nice texture to contrast the thick, intensely grape filling. The peanut butter flavor is lingering there, playing across your tongue with the grape but it really stands out when you get to those bites along the edge where you get the edge of the crust!
Sadly, I don’t have photos of the finished tart. “What?” you are saying. Ok well let me explain. I have an ulterior motive in making this pie which I will only partially disclose at this time for fear of having a holiday surprise ruined. I know someone who deeply love grape pie so I knew I HAD to put one together to freeze and then bake before a holiday get together for him. So I have made this pie, frozen it unbaked and will bake it in the near future. I will try to remember a midst the holiday chaos to revisit this post and add in pictures of the finished product.
I know that this is delicious however, because I made two “mini” tarts so that I could taste this recipe. I never give an edible gift without first knowing if it’s any good or not. For those of you who have received one from me, you know that when you offer me some of the dessert (if you do lol), I say “No I have an entire other one at home!”. If I make someone a cheesecake, I make two cheesecakes. If I make someone cookies, I have already devoured more than my share of them. You get the idea. (I have to “treadmill” a lot to make up for this, but it’s a small price to pay!) The prettier dessert is gifted and this way I don’t freak out if I mess up removing one from a pan, etc. Sadly, I didn’t’ have enough grapes remaining to make two full tarts. Therefore, two mini tarts would have to do.
So why did I choose to post this now and not just wait until the tart was complete? The answer to that is an easy one: you will NOT be able to find these grapes by that time! They are in season now and not for much longer! In some areas they are already done. So run to your local farmer’s market this weekend and see if you can snatch some up! This filling could certainly be canned so that you can make grape pies throughout the year. I will have to think ahead next year and do this because I have a feeling I will be craving this grape on peanut butter combination…
The two tarts look slightly different because I topped one with some crushed nutter butter and one is without. I wanted to see which I prefer. The difference in taste was negligible so for presentation’s sake, I say go without the crumbs on top.
I made these two small tarts by pressing the nutter butter crust into the bottom and partly up the sides of two cooking rings set on-top of a silpat. The rings have no bottoms so it was important to press firmly down on the crust so that it would hold it’s shape and this worked like a charm. These were delightful single-serving sized treats. I would also recommend trying this in a muffin tins or any kind of bake-ware you use to make “mini desserts” like this nifty one with fluted squares. My only issue with the below pan is that I wish it had removable bottoms so that you could push the mini desserts easily out. This is a feature I implore you to look for if you are interested in purchasing one!
The large tart was made in an 8 inch tart pan with fluted sides and a removable bottom. I placed the whole thing in the freezer, uncovered, until it had firmed up. Then I wrapped it twice in aluminum foil and then placed it in a heavy duty freezer bag. When I go to bake this I will do so from it’s frozen state as I have read this will yield a crispier crust. I plan to bake it at 350 degrees F and I’m not sure yet how long it will take. My guess is about an hour. The bubbling for this pie needs to be very bubbly before it’s done baking and it will take a bit of time to get to that state. If you make this and plan to bake it right away I would recommend baking it at 350 degrees F and I would start checking it at about 20 minutes. Tarts are not as deep as pies and therefore won’t take as long to bake!
The filling for this tart is very similar to the one I used in my original Concord Grape Pie so please refer to that post for pictures and additional notes on making the filling!
Nutter Butter Crust
Makes one 9-inch Pie or see alternate amounts for one 8-inch tart
- 24 Nutter Butter cookies (TART: 16 cookies)
- 6 tbsp. unsalted, melted butter (TART: 4 tbsp. butter)
- Pinch of fine kosher or sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Pulse cookies in a food processor to make crumbs
- Add melted butter
- Add the salt run until fully incorporated
- Dump into a greased spring-form pan, pie pan or TART pan (depending on your recipe)
- Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of your pan (half-way up if using a spring-form pan, all the way to the edge for a pie pan or tart pan) using your hand and/or a flat-bottomed glass.
- FOR A PIE WITH A BAKED FILLING: Refrigerate until ready to use
- FOR A PIE WITH AN UNBAKED FILLING: Bake 5-8 minutes or until just set, it may not look quite done but take it out anyway as the crust will shrink up if you bake it too long. If the edges have shrunk down, press them back up gently after allowing the crust to cool for a few minutes (so you don’t burn yourself). Allow to cool while you prepare your filling
Concord Grape Tart
Makes one 8-inch tart
- 1 recipe Nutter Butter Cookie Crust
- 3 cups Concord grapes
- ¾ cups granulated white sugar plus extra for sprinkling
- 3 tbsp. unbleached, all-purpose flour
- Pinch fine kosher or sea salt
- ½ tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. butter, cut into small chunks
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Prepare pie crust and fit into an 8-inch tart pan. Refrigerate while preparing the filling
- Remove the grapes from their vines into a colander and wash thoroughly
- Remove the skin of each grape by holding a grape between your thumb and forefinger with the stem end facing down into your bowl and applying pressure until the innards pop out, leaving the skin in your hands
- Place the grape “pulp” into a medium saucepan and the skins in a separate medium bowl
- Using a potato masher, mash up the grapes a bit while you cook them over medium low heat until they come to a full boil
- Remove the grape pulp from the heat and press through a food mill or sieve into the bowl with the skins, to remove the seeds. Discard the seeds
- Stir the lemon juice into the bowl with the skins and pulp and mix to combine
- In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, flour and salt
- Stir flour mixture into the bowl with the grapes
- Remove tart pan from the fridge and place it onto a baking sheet (the filling will likely bubble out a bit while baking so this will catch the drips)
- Pour the grape filling into the tart pan and dot the filling with the cubed butter
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and thick
- Allow to cool before slicing to allow the filling to congeal. You may remove the tart from the pan once it’s cooled. This is best stored in the fridge and served cool
As I said before, pictures of the finished full tart to come! But please don’t wait that long to try this yourself! Get these grapes while you can!!!