Homemade Grape Jelly

Homemade Grape Jelly

Homemade Grape Jelly

What a busy weekend!  But I did find time to do a little canning!  While out doing yard work I noticed that my grapes were ripe! (I am pretty sure they are concord grapes.)  This was a major treat for me because I thought we had lost this grape vine the other year due to neglect.  But two springs ago I weeded and trimmed (mind you this was very early spring one of them days mother nature like to tease us with because it snowed two days later!). We even fixed a new fence type thing for the runners.  Well later that spring it started growing and looked so good but not one grape on any of the vines… I trimmed it back later the next winter and crossed fingers.  For one because I do not know a thing about growing grapes!  And the other reason I crossed fingers is because I have a feeling this grape vine is older than I am!  My husband remembers eating them as a same child and remembers his dad talking about them when he was young!  This spring I could see life and as it got warmer I could see small grape clusters forming. Yay I did not kill it!  Well I decided it best to let it do its thing until this weekend I could not help but noticing it.  So I got a pair of snips and a basket and went to town – even gave a few pints of blood the the mosquitoes!  I still have more to pick but I was just so happy to get the chance to try and make jelly!  Not knowing really how to make grape jelly I decided I would use my blackberry recipe that I modified and see how it goes!  Needless to say it taste just like Welch’s Grape Jelly.  (Well very very close to it!)  I made two batches and made notes as I went so I could write it down to share and put in the girls cookbook!  Enjoy!

Here is how I did it… (Note: Don’t worry if the juice is a very dark reddish looking it will change to the purple the more it cooks and when you add the sugar).

 IMG_2876 IMG_2872

What you will need

  • About 4 lbs of grapes (cleaned and stems removed) (My grapes were concord picked from my own vine)
  •  5  cups juice (You will get this after you have cooked, mashed, cooled and  strained the grapes)
  •   cups sugar
  • 1 box dry pectin (I use Sure-Jell)
  • Jars with 2 piece lids – 8 8oz jelly jars or you can substitute the 4oz jars for some of the larger ones.
  • Jar Lifter
  • Canning Pot
  • 6 to 8 quart sauce pot
  • funnel (this makes it easier to ladle juice into jars)
  • Cheesecloth or Jelly strainer

DIRECTIONS

Prepare jars and lids per manufactures instructions.

  1. To make the juice:

    I sniped off clusters of grapes into a basket,  then put them in a pot with cold water.  I then began to take the grapes off the stems and remove any dried up grapes and leaves.  I rinsed them again to make sure I had gotten all the stems out.

    Next I placed them on the stove with just enough water to cover them and turned the heat on high and began to mash them with a potato masher while stirring them so they would not stick or burn.  When they began to boil I turned down the heat to low and let them simmer for about 10 minutes while I continued to mash and stir here and there.

  2. I let them cool for about 30 minutes once I turned the heat off of them.  Now is the fun part.  I got a very large bowl and I used my old fashion wire mesh strainer, I have two of them and strained the grapes thru the wire strainers a couple of times mashing the grape pulp each time.  I then took the juice and ran it thru a strainer with cheese cloth.  If you have a Jelly strainer you can do this.  I have one but had let a friend use it.  So I just made due.
  3. Measure sugar exactly and set aside.
  4. Place 5 cups of juice and 1 box of pectin in a 6 to 8 quart sauce pot.
  5. Bring mixture to a full boil (a boil that does not stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, making sure you stir constantly.
  6. Stir in sugar slowly. Return to rolling boil, when it gets to that rolling boil time exactly one minute, Stirring constantly. (Do not over cook).
  7. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
  8. Quickly ladle into prepared jars, within 1/8 inch of top. Wipe jar rims and threads with damp cloth. Cover with two piece lids. Screw on tightly.
  9. Process in a hot water bath for 10 mins making sure the water is 2 inches above jars.  If not you will need to add more boiling water to the pot.

Enjoy!

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