Friday, October 2, 2009

Concord Grapes, Apricots and Apple Cider Donut Holes

I'm sitting here with a small container of apple cider donut holes that are, I think, superior to the actual donut. Thick with sugar and cinnamon they are still a little crisp from the fryer. Oh, I do love this time of year! All hail the apple cider (insert type of fried dough here).

But what I wanted to talk about was Concord grapes. The other day we purchased a basket of them for baby's birthday party because they looked cool and harvest-y, but then, guess what, oh yeah, then you have almost a full basket left over. So, what do you do? Well, if you are a crazy person like me who can't bear to see anything go to waste, you will do this: pick over all the grapes (which smelled so wonderful, to me it's a sweet, heady, perfumed mix of summer and fall), remove them from the stem, separate them from the raisin-y, moldy ones, pinch every bloody grape to remove their jacket, take all the pulp and simmer it in a sturdy pot, strain said pulp to remove seeds, return pulp to the pan and add the reserved jackets, bring back to a simmer, add a cup of sugar and two tablespoons of lemon juice, bring to a rolling boil and then jar the gorgeous deep purple stuff, all the while thinking, I will never, ever do that stupidity again.

I will say that the skins ruin it a bit. I used a recipe for the filling for grape pie, which, maybe because it got cooked in the oven afterwards the skins softened a bit. If there is to be a next time (which, stupid me, there probably will) I would just follow a recipe for grape jelly instead which bypasses the skinning and adding of the skins.

The next day I made apricot jam with low sugar pectin. I don't mind pectin. I know purists will demure, but as I say, what the jell! (You know it's bad when you begin making really awful pectin jokes. Wow.)

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