Friday, October 1, 2010

Grape Jelly

I have been meaning to post this for a while so it would be of use when grapes were in season, but I guess late is better than never. Right? I love making jelly. It is a little time consuming but it makes me feel all old-timey, which is perfect for an historian. The trick to jelly is cooking it for long enough for it to set, otherwise you just get grape juice. As their name suggests, I can't get Concord grapes here because they are rather specific to a certain locality. Up here, we have Coronation grapes. (I took the above pic from here because all mine turned out like crap) They can survive the cold weather and still pack a major grapey punch. This jam is seriously intense, and is amazing on multigrain toast for breaky.

As with all jams and jellies, you will need sterilized jars and lids, and a large canning pot with boiling water to process the final product.

So, to make jelly, you first need to make some juice. Wash and drain the berries and remove from the stem. Place in a large pot with 1/4 cup or so of water for every 4 cups of berries. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat and cook for 10 mins, stirring and crushing the grapes. When grapes are all soft, remove from pot and drain in a colander lined with a few layers of damp cheesecloth for at least 2 hours. I found that one 2L basket of grapes ended up making about 4 cups of juice, which turned into two 500 ml jars of jam.
So, now that you have the juice you can make jelly. You will need for cups of juice and 3 cups of sugar to make two 500 ml jars of jam. Combine the two ingredients in a large pot and bring to the boil. This jelly will foam up like crazy, so make sure it only takes 1/4 of the volume of the pot. You can see in the pic above how high the jam rose. Boil hard for 20 to 25 mins, until the jam sheets from a spoon. I was never sure what this meant until I made this jam. Basically, when the jam is ready it will drip off the spoon like you see in the pic below.
Pour the jelly into jars, screw on the lids finger tight, then process for 10 minutes in the boiling water. When done, remove from heat and remove lid. After 5 mins, remove jars from the water and cool.

7 comments:

Holger said...

Looks rather delicous.

If you like, I´ll give you a hint to test whether the jam is ready. Pour some jelly onto a cold plate. If it´s setting and gels it´s ready for bottling.
I made dandelion-"honey" that way....

Lisa is Raw on $10 a Day (or less!) said...

Nice :) ... my dad used to make grape jelly ... thanks for the memory!

Anna (Green Talk) said...

1/4 cup of what? I did not understand. Also, as side question, when do you think I can take some of the leaves to make grape leaves? It is fall here, so I was thinking about taking a few but did not know if they would be tough.

Morgaine said...

If you ever want to cut the sugar content, I generally use about a cup of agave or a few teaspoons of stevia powder as sweetener and then I use Agar flakes or powder to set the jelly. You NEVER have a batch that won't set and you can set it as hard or soft as you please. Works also with the sugar, but you don't have to use as much as you would to set the pectin properly.
(I also love to make jams and jellies, but I've had to learn how to not use processed sugars as many I know have health issues associated with them.) Fresh grape jelly is one of my all time favorites.

Heathere Willoughby said...

I've been a silent stalker of your blog for quite some time. My neighbor had a bunch of grapes on her vine she was going to just let rot so when I saw your post I was inspired to go pick a huge basket full, process them down to about 10 cups of juice, and make this jelly (only one 4 cup batch is actually made so far though). I am now contemplating giving up all regular meals and replacing them with toast and this jelly because I am absolutely addicted now. Thanks so much for sharing this super easy recipe!

sabjimata said...

Here's a tip I gleaned from reading up on June Taylor and her jams. To sterilize jars, just put on a baking tray in the oven at 200 while you are making your jam. Remove with tongs as you fill. Screw on lid. No need to water bath can. I only water bath can if my jars don't seal.

Happy canning!

K-bobo said...

The one time I tried sterilising the jars in the oven they all cracked when I added the jam, so I think the water bath is easier.

Great recipe! I love home made jam and it is such a great way to use the abundance of home grown fruit so that you can use it all year round. Here is one of my favourite jam recipes from my blog: http://gormandizewithus.blogspot.com/2011/09/homemade-tangello-and-goji-berry-jam.html