Grapes grown in Armenia are known for their special sweetness.
We’ve never eaten grapes from Armenia, but all grapes taste a little sweeter in August as Armenian churches around the world celebrate the Blessing of the Grapes along with the Feast of the Assumption, marking the Holy Mother’s assumption into Heaven. This year’s celebration falls on August 15th.
Since the feast coincides closely with the first grape harvest of the year, the Armenian pagan tradition of offering the first crop to the goddess Anahid was adopted and transformed by the early church.
Our grandparents did not eat grapes before the blessing, although that was by tradition and not due to a religious prohibition. Luckily, we’re not old-timers, so we snack on grapes year-round.
Sadly, our recent grape purchase was less than sweet; in fact, they were down-right tart. Serves us right for not waiting until they were blessed!
Not to worry, they didn’t go to waste. I spotted a roasted grape recipe from the New York Times and adapted it based on the ingredients I had on hand, creating a sweet, juicy, tasty dessert.
For another recipe featuring grapes, check out our Grape-Orzo-Pistachio Salad – The Armenian Kitchen.
Roasted Grapes with Yogurt and Whipped Cream
Ingredients for Roasted Grapes
- 2 cups seedless grapes (rinsed; stems removed. If grapes are large, cut them in half.)
- 1-2 Tbsp. brandy (I used Ararat brandy)
- 1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar (Amount used is based on the sweetness or tartness of the grapes)
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
Ingredients for Yogurt and whipped cream base:
- ¾-1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup whipped cream ((Reddi Wip, in this case) Feel free to make fresh whipped cream using heavy cream or whipping cream.)
- ¼-½ tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Directions for roasting the Grapes:
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the grapes, brandy, brown sugar and zest.
- Place grape mixture in an ovenproof baking dish with high sides. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until grapes start to caramelize and liquid becomes syrupy.
- Remove from oven and allow grapes to cool.
Instructions for the Yogurt and Whipping Cream:
- In a mixing bowl, gently whisk together the plain Greek yogurt, whipped cream, and vanilla, if using, until well-combined.
- Place half of the yogurt mixture into two individual serving bowls, top with grape mixture, and add a dollop of whipping cream, if you wish.