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Have a lot of concord grapes. Good ideas? And tips?

I just came back from visiting family with a big garden and they had a LOT of very ripe concord grapes. Which I love.

So I've come home with a lot of them.

What are some good ideas? Some of my books have recipes, like a concord grape sorbet. A parfait mixed with some panna cotta, a tart. Any other good thoughts?

I was thinking of cooking the grapes (because they're ripe now and I don't think they are going to keep long) and putting through a food mill and then freezing for uses down the road. Does that make sense? I had tried putting raw concords through a food mill a long time ago and the mill just crunched the seeds. I later gathered that the idea is to cook them first to soften the seeds before putting them through the mill to prevent them from crunching into bits and going through the mill. Is that right?

Also, what about using vitamin C to keep the colors bright. Does citric acid also work? Any recommendations?

Specific recipes?

Thanks much!

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  1. Find a recipe for grape pie -- amazing! I also like a grape sauce with chicken or duck. I think a puree would freeze fine -- I don't think you need anything to preserve the grape color.

    1. I added roasted grapes to a salad of mixed baby lettuce and/or arugula with shaved red onion, halved grape or cherry tomatoes and sliced seedless cucumbers. I also added some oven crispy proscuitto shards & toasted cornbread croutons to the salad. OMG!! And I made a vinaigrette to go with it using some of the roasted grapes, roasted shallot, champagne vinegar, and oil. It was a beautiful salad, especially if you use arugula. The peppery flavor goes well with the sweetness of the grapes and the slight saltiness of the ham.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Cherylptw

        Concord grapes have seeds that stubbornly cling to the pulp, so they are not appropriate for the dish you suggest.

        If you cook the grapes, then strain out the seeds, you can freeze or can the juice. It makes for delicious home-made jello.

        IMO Concords are most delicious eaten out of hand, in private, where no one sees you sucking the pulp from the seeds and spitting them out. BTW I now have a few volunteer vines in the shrubs near my house, several years after putting extra Concord grapes out for the birds and squirrels.

        1. re: greygarious

          Sorry to disagree with you but you CAN HALF the grapes to remove the seeds then roast..I made the dish, I think i know if it works..

          1. re: Cherylptw

            If you used Concord grapes, my hat's off to you! HALVING Concords, which are about half the size of Thompsons and most other table grapes, and freeing the seeds from the clinging pulp, is something I'll put on my to-do list, right after I make hand-pulled Asian noodles, and puff pastry from scratch! :-P

            1. re: greygarious

              My initial response was to the OP but if you want to fit it in, by all means do so

              1. re: greygarious

                The Concords I'm currently working with are actually twice the size of table grapes, about as big around as a quarter. Halving and seeding them for Cheryl's recipe would be no problem at all. Halving and seeding enough of them for a canning project would be a pain in the ass. That said, I scalded and peeled enough currant tomatoes (the size of a dime or smaller) for 10 pints of herbed tomatoes earlier this summer. It all depends on your inspiration/desire/anal/zen sensibilities.

            2. re: greygarious

              Once again, I'm with greygarious on this one. I can't imagine a pile of concords too big to finish out of hand.

          2. This grape focaccia looks unique and tasty:
            http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/09/gra...

            Also, regular grapes are great frozen as is, uncooked -- I wonder how Concord grapes would be frozen? Regular grapes taste like popsicles when you freeze them, and Concord grapes already taste like popsicles, so I bet they would be good.

            1. I used to freeze concord grape "puree" all the time - though it has been a few years. (It's such a major production - I'd usually freeze enough for a couple of years. That, and when I'm picking fruit, I just have trouble knowing when to stop!)

              Remove the skins from the grapes (pinch them at the end opposite the stem); set them aside. Put the pulp into a heavy pan, bring it to a boil, and let it boil 5 minutes or so. Put it through a food mill to remove the seeds. Pour the hot pulp over the skins and let the mixture sit for (for at least a couple of hours if you're using it right away). This colors the pulp and makes it pretty. I think it also adds a bit of flavor and, obviously, texture. You can chop the skins a bit when you add them back to the pulp, but I don't usually.

              I usually freeze in quarts - it's just about the perfect size for pies or jams - grape pie is a favorite in these parts (upstate NY)!

              I would caution against freezing in a whole bunch in zip-loc bags, then trying to carry too many at once. A burst bag of grape puree in a freshly painted kitchen - not a pretty sight. . .

              1. Nobody's mentioned Concord grape jelly?

                1 Reply
                1. re: sunshine842

                  MY mother used to make Concord grape jam and freeze the jars. What a treat to open a jar of September in January. I wish I had paid attention to how she went about it, but I do remember her cooking the grapes with sugar and short stems then pressing the result in a strainer.