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).
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)
- 5 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
Prepare jars and lids per manufactures instructions.
- 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.
- 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.
- Measure sugar exactly and set aside.
- Place 5 cups of juice and 1 box of pectin in a 6 to 8 quart sauce pot.
- Bring mixture to a full boil (a boil that does not stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, making sure you stir constantly.
- 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).
- Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
- 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.
- 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.