Concord Grape Jam/Jelly

The killing frost came a little early this year and I spent the weekend hustling plants inside and preserving up a storm. I don’t actually grow grapes, but one of the perks of living in an Italian neighbourhood is that they are everywhere. I’ve already made up two batches of jelly/jam (one pink and one Concord) and if I ever get through the legions of green tomatoes from the garden in time, I will surely try to do up a small batch of grape wine.

I don’t know whether to call this a jam or a jelly as it sits somewhere between the two. I included grape flesh but omitted the seeds and skins.

RECIPE: Concord Grape Jam/Jelly

Homemade grape preserve reminds me of the grape jelly I ate as a kid but without the sugar, preservatives, and other garbage.

Be aware that the set for this recipe is softer than store-bought grape jelly as I really wanted to keep the sugar content down. Feel free to add more sugar if you prefer a hard set.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs Concord grapes, washed and stemmed
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice*
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Cook the grapes on medium heat until they are soft, about 20-30 minutes. About halfway through, crush them with a wooden spoon or potato masher.

Push through a sieve to remove the seeds and skin but retain the flesh. I found that my old fashioned chinoise worked well here as the holes were just the right size.

Add the grape mash, lemon juice, and sugar to a non-reactive cooking pot. Heat on low, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Turn up the heat and bring to a hard boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Test for set after about 5 minutes.

Pour into sterilized jars leaving 1/4? headspace and heat-process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.

*I used bottled lemon juice because it was all I had on hand. Even natural, bottled lemon juice has an odd flavour that does come through slightly so I’d suggest substituting with real lemons if you have them.

Makes about 5- 1/2 pint jars.

More photos of my grape jam/jelly in progress on Instagram: Smushed grapes cooking, and bringing the juice to a boil.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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