I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but here’s another cooking adventure I’d always been afraid to try. Making jelly and canning. This adventure wasn’t even on my culinary bucket list – it was too scary. There’s the whole bit with the pectin and the part of sterilizing jars and sealing jars. It just seemed like way too much time and effort to be worth it.
Boy was I wrong!
Homemade jelly is FANTASTIC.
Maybe it’s the grapes.
These grapes came from my parents’ lake house in Lake Geneva, WI. This house used to be my grandparents’ summer home and I spent many of my childhood summers making memories there.
By the road there’s a fence that has grapes growing on it. Grapes which I always thought were green grapes. Nope. They’re beautiful, purple concord grapes! They were just never ripe when I was visiting.
This year, the grapes were ready a little early and Mom called me up asking if I wanted to try making jelly with her. She had over ten pounds of harvested grapes! She stopped by on her way back to Florida for the winter for a few days and we tried our hand at jelly making. A first for both of us!
There are a good number of steps to jelly making. And there’s a good mess to be made. But it’s not difficult. And with the right canning suppliesit’s even fun. This recipe made 12 4oz Jarsand 4 8oz jars.
- 5 lb concord grapes
- 7 C sugar, divided use
- 1 pkt pectin(or 8 tbsp)
- blender or juicer
- jelly jars with lids and rings
- jar funnel
- jar grabber
- magnetic lid grabber
- large stock pot(s)
- Sanitize your jelly jars. I did this by running my dishwasher on a very hot cycle. Keep jars warm until ready to fill to prevent the glass cracking. If you do this in a dishwasher, simply don’t open the door until you’re ready to fill the jars. If you sanitize jars by washing with soapy water and boiling in water for 10 minutes,keep the jars in warm water until you’re ready to fill them.
- Place jar lids in a shallow skillet over low heat (do not boil) to get the seal gummy, remove lids from water.
- Place grapes in a blender (this will need to be done in batches) and pulse until juiced. Pour and press the juice through a cheesecloth lined strainer and strain into a large measuring cup. Squeeze cheesecloth to extract all the juice. Do this until you have 5 C of juice. (Any extra juice is a delicious tart treat for you to enjoy!)
- In a small bowl, combine the pectin with 1/4 C of the sugar.
- Warm the juice, but do not boil (yet). Stir in the pectin. Bring to a full boil.
- Add the rest of the sugar and return to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.
- Fill jars with jelly, cover with lids and rings. Seal by placing the filled jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool in a dry place over night. (I did this in my oven.)
*This recipe is adapted from http://www.pickyourown.org/grapejelly.htm#.VELDzfl4ofg*
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