Concord grapes are one of my favorite fruits. Not the gum or the Smuckers, but the grapes. To me, the flavor reminds me of growing up with vines cut and transplanted in on the back wall of the garage of my childhood home . At the time, it was such an unappreciated luxury as the seeds kept us from eating them out of hand.
I still get grapes from those very same vines in the fall and eating them out of hand is no longer a problem. If any make it out of the “out of hand” stage, processing them is messy, but not difficult. First, remove and reserve the skins. Then cook the pulp over medium heat and push them through a strainer (some use a food mill). Finally put the seedless pulp along with the skins back over the heat. This is where the mixture turns a deep red-purple. This is where it gets purplized. You can freeze and use this throughout the winter.
Once you have the pulp, you can make jam, pie, soda, or any multitude of things. I decided on a simple sorbet. I started with 4 1/2 cups of pulp with skins and pureed the entire mixture for about a minute. This puree was strained (yes again) and yielded 4 cups of smooth puree. To this, I added a cup of sugar and stirred it until the sugar was evenly distributed.
Once this was done, I chilled the mixture and churned it using my stand mixer’s ice cream making attachment. The churning took quite a while and was still relatively thin when I transferred it to a carton and into the freezer.
Once frozen, the sorbet is smooth and carries nearly all of the concord grape flavor. Coupled with thin peanut butter cookies, this vibrantly colored sorbet made for a sandwich with a classic flavor combination, but with more adult flavors. The peanut butter cookies were topped with large crystal kosher salt and the concord grape sorbet carried some of the tartness that is usually sugar-ed out of the Smuckers grape jelly.