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Entertaining

Grape Expectations
October 4, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Grapes are an underappreciated fruit. Sure they grace many a fruit platter, but how often do we seek out a freshly harvested bunch? One bite is an eye-opening experience. The window is a short one, though, lasting barely two months here in New York. The varieties also go far-beyond the normal red and grape found in supermarkets. Whimsical names like Mercury, Jupiter and Mars adorn seedless varieties, and then there’s my favorite—concord grapes.

Only a true grape lover can forgive the seeds that cause so many to shy away from these intense jam-flavored orbs. In fact, in my house, I’m alone in my love for them. Unless I make a batch of concord grape muffins. Then tired tastebuds crawl out of the woodwork for a bite. Fear of having my beloved concords become a one trick pony, had me scouring the pantry in search of new recipe ideas. That’s when I spied the apples sitting on the kitchen counter and the jalapeno peppers in the vegetable bin.

My original intention was to make a chutney, but too much multitasking resulted in a spicy grape-scented applesauce. Yes, a delicious mistake indeed. Cranberry sauce should be worried — this might just find its way onto our Thanksgiving turkey this year if I find time to can some before the season ends.

Zesty Concord Grape Apple Sauce
Makes about 2 pints

1 pound apples, peeled, cored & diced (preferably not tart ones-I used Ginger Golds)
6 ounces concord grapes, seeds removed
1 large shallot, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper
Generous pinch of salt

  1. Add all the ingredients to a deep pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove pot from heat. If desired, mash with a fork until for a smoother textured apple sauce.
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