• Sarah Celentano

Concord Grape Jam Tart

An ode.

Today I went to my mailbox*, on this GLORIOUSLY brisk, sunny day, and LO. Waiting for me in it's recyclable plastic sleeve was my most favorite publication of all-time, the October 2020 Martha Stewart Living magazine in all its gourd covered glory. I have been subscribing to this magazine since I was eighteen years old. While most of my peers were learning how to play beer pong or flip cup, I was obsessing over recipes I wanted to try and gleaning as much inspiration for a life of domestic bliss as I possibly could (while living at home with my parents and two younger siblings; always a dreamer, this one).

One September issue in the mid 20-aughts, a recipe appeared in the now retired "Dessert of the Month" feature that I decided to whip up for my weekly dinner at my Grandparents. It was so so sososososo good that my Aunt required the recipe post-haste. I clipped the recipe from the magazine, which I then immediately lost. And so, relegated to our memories, the sweet-tart jammy perfection in the butteriest, flakiest shell of all time.

Years passed, the prettiest apartments and inspiring, lovely roommates came and went, Friday night dinners with Nonni and Papa endured and life was good. But something nagged in the back of my mind. Next to: finish school, clean your room, and just-buy-that-thing-already-you've-been-thinking-about-it-for-months; standing firmly on a golden pedestal was the memory of The Lost Tart.

But!!! Butbutbut!!!! Then!!! My Convicted Felon of a Domestic Hero came out with her Pies and Tarts cookbook and within its pages, the concord grape dessert I had been pining the loss of for years. The year was 2011. I was about to finish my degree. I was about to get engaged. And I was about to...Get To Make The Grape Tart. But...well...did you ever read the story about the little girl who imagines her lost doll as being so much more magnificent than it really ever was? You see, once upon a time, my Mom carried two grape pies home from Naples to Rochester while riding on the back of a motorcycle. Grape pie is just so good it's worth a risky motorcycle ride for and is totally synonymous with early Autumn round here. And this tart? Good thing for me and everyone I love, unlike Dulcy's doll, this beauty HOLDS UP.

With the Naples Grape Fest cancelled this year, I felt it my one duty to bring you a recipe you can definitely make this weekend with the grapes you pick up at your local farmers market on Saturday morning. Plus, a bonus recipe for using up your pastry scraps. It's really a cinch as far as tarts are concerned, especially if you have a fine mesh sieve, which you definitely will need for this actually. If you don't have one, get one. It's a workhorse in the kitchen, and also great for scooping bugs and leaves out of your kiddie pool all summer long. Also, food processors make the best, most easiest pastry crusts every single time. It's just the gosh darned truth.

You guys should feel really special. I wrote this post and recipe before I even ripped open the plastic to read my magazine. I'm waiting until the dishes get washed, the piles of laundry get put away and the kids are fast asleep. Gonna put on my bathrobe, pour myself a cup of something and get super into it. It's Friday night, y'all! Time to party!

I'm totally lying. I'm already wearing my bathrobe.

All my love on this first truly Fall feeling day,


*reached my arm out my front door to procure the contents of my mailbox. I don't want you to mistake this for a jaunt out my front door out into the world. Oh, no no. This was a bathrobe clad-hope the neighbors aren't looking-very quickie of a mail grab. Don't worry, I got dressed and took my kids for a stroll eventually. But then I promptly put my bathrobe back on.

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