This delicious pie recipe was developed by Dr. Lucille B. May, the Zaninovich’s family obstetrician and friend from Bakersfield who loved Jasmine grapes. Dr. May and Margaret Zaninovich perfected this recipe together over time. We hope you enjoy this classic family recipe – served best with vanilla ice cream.
5 cups black or red California seedless grapes, halved
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Basic pie pastry (or use Trader Joe’s or Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts)
(Makes enough for a double-crust 9-inch pie)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced and kept very cold
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6-8 tablespoons (about ½ cup) ice water
For the crust:
Place flour, salt, sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the cold diced butter and cold shortening. Pulse 8-12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough just begins to form a ball. Dump out onto a sheet of parchment paper and gather together using the parchment to form a ball with your hands. Divide the dough into two equal disks, wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest 30 minutes.
With a rolling pin, roll each disk between two large sheets of parchment paper, forming two 12 inch circles. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the one of the pastry circles, add the filling, top with the remaining pastry. [With leftover pastry rendered from trimming, cut out 3 small decorative grape leaves to add to top pastry before baking, if desired.]
For the filling:
In a medium bowl, stir together the grapes, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Pour into the pastry-lined pie plate. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and dot with butter. Top with the remaining pastry and press to seal. Flute the edges and cut vents into the top of the pie. [Add decorative small pastry grape leaves and sprinkle top of pastry with a tablespoon of sugar, if desired.]
Bake in preheated 425 F oven for 10 minutes, center rack of oven (line with foil to catch any drippings). Reduce heat to 350 F and cook 30 to 35 minutes more, or until the filling in the center is bubbly.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Makes approximately 8 servings.