Grape jelly

grape jelly 1

Although we have a grape arbor in the yard, its production has been really poor in recent years.  I’m not sure what the problem is – although I suspect it has something to do with how we’re having it pruned.  Something to look into for next year . . .

In the meantime, a family member kindly provided me with some wonderful purple Concord grapes from her yard, and even though they filled only a small bucket, they produced approximately eight cups of juice – more than enough for a batch of grape jelly.

Step one:  I washed the grapes and pulled out as many stems, green berries, etc as possible.  I then put the grapes in a large pot and crushed them with a potato masher.  Next, I added just enough water to cover the grapes and put them on the stove to boil.  Once they came to a boil (stirring to avoid scorching), I reduced the heat to simmer for ten minutes.

Step two:  I poured the contents of the pot into a sieve and let the juice run thorough, then helped to complete the process by smooching the grapes against the sides of the sieve to get out as much juice as possible.

Step three:  I measured out 4 cups of juice into a large pot on the stove, and added 2/3 cup water and 4 tlb low sugar / no sugar pectin.  I brought the pot to a rolling boil, then added approx 3/4 cup sugar, brought the pot back to a rolling boil, and stirred constantly for one minute.  Then I turned off the heat and hot bath canned the jelly for 10-15 minutes.

grape jelly 2

I’m always nervous that the jelly won’t set up, and I’ll end up with a runny mess, and it’s true that you have to wait a while to be sure (I think because the jelly is so hot at first, it still looks very liquid), but by evening, the jars seemed to be setting up nicely.  I’m thinking I have one more batch of jelly in me, before I move on to applesauce . . .

frozen raspberries

Other late-summer harvests including freezing raspberries to make fruit smoothies throughout the winter, and canning tomato sauce from a delicious roasted tomatoes/veggies recipe – I’ll try to get it posted, it’s worth trying!

canned tomato sauce

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