The grape vine in our garden went mad this year and produced so many grapes that there was no way we were ever going to be able to eat them all straight off the plant. I searched around for some good recipes but, surprisingly, there weren't many that appealed. Wine-making is far too much faff. Hmmm.
Then I stumbled across this Concord Grape Tart recipe on a website called Splendid Table. The instructions looked weird as I didn't think I'd actually want the skins in the filling. They have a bitter taste even when the grapes are very ripe. So I changed the recipe to make the filling in the way I would have made crab apple jelly, had any crab apples grown this year.
2.5 lb grapes
grated zest and juice of half a lemon
5 tbsp caster sugar
I put the grapes into a saucepan and cooked them until they had all softened and burst. This took about ten minutes. I put the result through a fine sieve and added the lemon zest and juice. I then boiled the grape liquid and added about 5tbsp of caster sugar. There was a lot of liquid from the grapes. I wasn't expecting them to be so juicy! I misjudged this stage because I hoped the grapes would set as they cooled. They didn't so I poured the liquid back into the pan and boiled it again for a good twenty minutes. This time it started to set ... however having made the pastry in the same way as for the Pear Tart, rolled it out and poured in the grape filling, everything went wrong!
The oven was set to 200C and I baked the tart for 20 minutes. By this point, the grapes were boiling (again) and the pastry was getting very dark. I took the tart out of the oven and left it to cool but, an hour later, the filling was still liquid. Grrr.
The coated pastry was quite tasty - waste not, want not. And we put the filling into the fridge with a plan of changing its purpose to a fruit sauce. Today we bought a block of vanilla ice cream from +Sainsbury's. I didn't know that it was still possible to buy blocks, wrapped in card instead of tubbed in plastic , so that brought back childhood memories. And the combination of ice cream topped with tangy grape sauce is delicious!