California Central Coast Recipes

Zin-Full Pie

If you are going to "Zin", then "Zin" magnificently with this Zin-Full Pie. It is made with ripe Zinfandel wine grapes and a butter based Pate Brisee crust. OK, maybe it is not exactly part of a Mediterranean diet, but if you have been good and following the diet, reward yourself occasionally!

Like all wine grapes, Zinfandel grapes are very sweet. And the flavor of the berries are very complex, nothing like a typical berry pie. When you slice into the pie, it is like opening a good bottle of dessert wine. When cooked, the grapes do not disintegrate. They remain whole and burst in your mouth. And yes, the grape seeds are left in the berries. They give the pie a very pleasing crunch as you eat.

This recipe is for an eleven inch pie, a nine inch pie is simply too small to give a good ratio of berries to pie crust. Besides, there is never too much pie to eat! ©2017, Zin-Full Pie
Preparation time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 5 minutes



The Crust

3-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup Granulated White Sugar
1-1/2 cup Unsalted Butter , cut into tablespoon size pieces.
3/4 cup ice water
1 Egg , beaten with
1 Tablespoons Cold Water.
A sheet of wide aluminum foil (18x18 inches) for a heat shield
An eleven inch pie pan

The Filling

6 cups Zinfandel or other Wine Grapes
1 cup Granulated White Sugar
6 Tablespoons Cornstarch
4 Tablespoons White Wine

Preparation Directions.

1 Wash and de-stem the wine grapes. Discard any green or light unripe grapes. Place the washed grapes in a colander to drain.

2 To make the heat shield, take the aluminum foil, and using an approximately 9 inch plate or pot lid, with a sharp knife cut out a hole in the center of the foil. To stiffen the sheet, fold the edges of the foil up to make a 12 to 13 inch square "pan shape". Place aside for later.

3 Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor, and pulse a few seconds to evenly mix the components.

4 Add the butter and run the food processor for about fifteen to twenty seconds until the butter is evenly broken and combined with the dry components. When done, the mixture will look like a coarse ground meal.

5 While the food processor is running, slowly add the the water until the dough just hold together and starts to form a ball. Do not over process or add too much water, this will cause the dough to form a tough pastry shell.

6 Remove the dough from the food processor, roll it into a ball, then divide it into two pieces, one a bit larger than the other.

7 Press the pieces into disks, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for one hour to allow the gluten in the flour to relax and the butter to chill.

8 Just before rolling out the pie crust, preheat your oven to 375F and make the filling by combining the grapes, sugar, cornstarch and white wine in a bowl, and toss light to evenly coat the grapes.

9 After the dough has chilled, take the larger piece and on a lightly floured surface - or between a couple pieces of waxed paper, rolling from the center of the disk, and giving the disk a quarter turn after each roll, roll out the bottom crust to about a quarter inch thickness.

10 At this point, either pick up the dough by rolling it around your rolling pin, or fold it half and transfer it to the eleven inch pie pan. There should be enough dough to extend all around slightly over the edge of the pan (you can patch any voids with a little piece here and there )

11 Add the filling to the bottom shell.

12 Next roll out the remaining piece of chilled dough for the pie top to abut a quarter inch thickness as done above.

13 Beat the egg with the cold water to make an egg wash. With a pastry brush, brush the edges of the bottom shell with the egg wash.

14 Now, either pick up the pie crust top by rolling it around your rolling pin, or fold it half and transfer it to cover the eleven inch pie pan. Seal the edge of the pie crust by gently pressing all around the edge with a fork, or if like by carefully pinching the edges of the crust together with your finger tips. trim off any excess dough.

15 Cut a couple of vents in the top of the crust, or as we like to do, using a small circular cutter at an angle cut a pattern in the top resembling a cluster of grapes. The idea is to let one side pierce all the way through to vent, while the other side remains attached.

16 Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg wash to finish.

17 Gently center the heat shield on top of the pie, bending it slightly convex so that makes only light contact along the pie edges, and place the pie into the 375F preheated oven. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F and continue to bake for another 35 minutes. At this point remove the shield to allow the edges to brown, and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the juices of the filling are bubbling.

18 Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool.

19 Serve at room temperature.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

The perfect wine for this desert is a late harvest Zinfandel.

A tip from Sue!

The Practical Cook

At the heart of great cooking is a practical cook. Donít experiment with a new recipe for company.

Use tried and true recipes for those occasions so you can reduce your worries and enjoy the meal and entertaining.