Take Another Look at Grapes—They're So Much More Than Snacks
They may be best known as snacks in lunchboxes and on cheese plates but grapes are a surprisingly wonderful addition to baked goods. They deliver a fruity, tart, and juicy burst of flavor to everything from breads to cakes. Perhaps best of all is their ability to pair with both sweet and savory profiles-think balsamic vinegar, cinnamon, and, famously, peanut butter.
One of the most interesting ways to use grapes in baking is to roast them-which is just what food writer and cookbook author, Melissa Clark, does as she and Martha make her roasted grape shortcake. She starts by roasting a pound a half of seedless red grapes with sugar, balsamic vinegar, butter, cinnamon, and thyme until they're caramelized. Spooned onto freshly baked shortcakes, dusted with some flaky salt and pepper, and finished with dollops of whipped crème fraiche, they become a luxe dessert that's totally unexpected and incredibly tasty.
Also in this episode of Martha Bakes, Martha talks to farmer and grape expert, Len Barron about the different varieties of this versatile fruit, and bakes two more standout recipes: a time-honored winemaker's focaccia and an eye-catching Concord grape tart.
Roasted Grape Shortcakes
Adding a handful of old-fashioned rolled oats to the batter gives these shortcakes a delicious texture and is a nice juxtaposition to the syrupy roasted grapes.
This salty-sweet grape focaccia is a simple yet brilliant showcase for grapes, calling for extra virgin olive oil to enhance the fruit flavor. A liberal sprinkling of sanding sugar and flaky sea salt gives the finished bread a bit of crunch and the perfect contrast in tastes.
Concord Grape Jam Tart
Delicious and beautiful, this tart is just the thing to make when Concord grapes are in season. Their slightly sweet, musky flavor is fantastic. Crème fraiche (which we highly recommend spooning on top of this tart before serving) is a lovely complement.
Martha Bakes season 11 airs on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings).