“WE SHOULD ALL DO WHAT, IN THE LONG RUN, GIVES US JOY, EVEN IF IT IS ONLY PICKING GRAPES OR SORTING THE LAUNDRY.” E.B. White
What brings you joy?
For me it has always been the simplest of pleasures. There is something to be said for the feeling of having tackled your laundry and being able to move forward in your day. And how awesome it would be if your day could include some grape picking, too!
For me, a morning of grape picking would certainly lead to an afternoon of tart baking. And this humble fruit tart has a flaky, buttery crust which is filled with the sweetness of home made concord grape jam. Simple in both flavor and execution!
Concord grape jam? Move over toast! I would even eat this for breakfast!
Other than that famous jelly we all came to know and love, I’ve never eaten Concord grapes before. But I saw them at the Fresh Market. And so I decided to pick up a couple of pounds and see what happened. They are smaller grapes, and mildly sweet. And I think they’d be perfect for a cheese board, too! I will definitely buy them again!
You know, I’ll be the first to tell you that home made is best! But if you want to throw this together in a pinch, you could use a cup of your favorite jelly and some store bought crust. And I would absolutely make this again with other jams. I think bits of fruit would be pretty good here, too.
Serve it up with some home made whipped cream or some crème fraîche.
Level of Difficulty: easy as pie (or tart!)
Servings: one 9 inch tart
CONCORD GRAPE TART:
This is really easy when made in 2 stages. I made the jelly the night before and it set beautifully. So let’s start there!
CONCORD GRAPE JELLY:
- 2 pounds of Concord grapes
- 6 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
Place the grapes and the lemon juice in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook, as you stir frequently, until the grapes begin to split and pop and release their juices. This will take about 10 minutes or more. Toward the end of the 10 minutes, I gave the grapes a little mash with the potato masher. Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and strain the grapes, pressing and pushing the juice through to the bowl below. You should have at least 1 1/2 cups of juice that you will return to the pan. Add the granulated sugar and the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and then simmer until the temperature reaches 220° on a candy thermometer. Again, this will take about 10 minutes. Place the jam in a bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Stir it occasionally during this time. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 weeks.
This tart is really pretty when made in a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. My tart pan is bigger than that. So I decided to bake it in a ceramic tart pan. And in searching my ceramic pans I came upon this THRIFTY FIND. I found this some time ago at the thrift store for $1.79. And in this case, the design was perfect for the contents!
FOR THE CRUST:
- 2 cups of all purpose flour (and some extra for dusting)
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 2 sticks of cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup of ice water
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
- coarse sprinkling sugar for decoration
This is a sweet, buttery crust that is the perfect vessel for the jelly. And chilling this before serving allows the jelly to set.
So pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add the butter cubes and continue to pulse until the mix resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly drizzle the water while you continue to pulse until the mixture just begins to hold together. Divide the dough into 2 discs, wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
When the dough has chilled, lightly flour your work surface. Roll out each disc into 1/8 inch circles. Fit one circle into your tart dish or pan. Trim off the excess dough and place the dish in the refrigerator. Place the next circle onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Use the base of 2 different size pastry tips to cut out circles in a varying pattern to resemble a cluster of grapes. Use a pairing knife to cut out a stem at the top. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes as well.
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Stir your jelly and pour it over the bottom crust. Brush the edges of the dough with egg wash. Position the remaining dough on top, centering the design. Press the edges together to seal and trim any excess dough. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle it with the coarse sugar. Refrigerate the tart for another 30 minutes.
Yes…..there is a lot of ‘dough chilling’ time. But it’s worth it. Soon you will be eating a slice of this . . . . .
Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Gently tap the baking sheet on a counter to release any air bubbles. If you find that the sides of the tart have shrunk, don’t panic! I simply ran the tines of a fork around the edges to crimp them together. It turned out just as pretty! Continue to bake for another 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cool completely. And I chilled this in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Oh so sweet!
To the last bite!
Inspired by and adapted from Martha Stewart Pies and Tarts. Online source here.
For more easy jammy fun try my:
But my friends have been jammin too: