Homemade grape jelly is especially nice when it comes from homegrown grapes. Our little vineyard, as we like to call it, grows over a lattice on our front porch, and gives us privacy, shade, and sweet grapes. This year, our vineyard yielded a small but deliciously sweet harvest. The red table grapes that we planted have seeds, so they are not that easy to eat fresh picked (even though we still did).
So, when we harvested our grapes, I put them into the fridge with a plan to make grape jelly. Then it was Thanksgiving weekend, and I knew I wouldn't find the time to make grape jelly as well as plan, shop, and cook a Thanksgiving meal for the family. To the rescue came my lovely sister in law, who offered to make the jelly. And she did an amazing job of it. Our grape jelly is perfect, and it's so nice to have a jar of jelly from your own little vineyard.
Homemade jams and jellies are great to give as gifts. Edible homemade and or home grown are gifts that everyone always appreciate. I like to make a lot of jams, jellies and preserves over the growing season. That way when the Holiday season rolls around, I'm ready.
Our grape vines have matured and next year we are expecting a bumper crop. So next year at this time, I'll be extra busy making jelly, and I'll have a lot more jars.
Grape Jelly is easy to do. It just takes a little time, like everything that's worthwhile. For some homemade jam recipes, check out Rhubarb Jam, which I made earlier this spring, or, to spice it up a little, Plum Jam with Cinnamon and Cardamom
This recipe makes 8 1/2 pint jars, or 4 pint jars. Enough to have on hand for gift giving.
- 2 lb red or purple skinned grapes, strained to make 4 cups of grape juice
- 7 cups granulated sugar
- 1 pouch (85 ml) liquid pectin
- In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine grapes and 2 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat to low. Use a potato masher to crush the grapes, and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.
- Line a sieve or strainer with a couple of layers of dampened cheesecloth, set over a deep bowl.
- Pour the grape mixture into the cheesecloth lined strainer and allow to sit for about 2 hours for the juice to extract.
- You should end up with four cups of clear grape juice. If you don't get the required four cups, add a half cup of boiling water to your strainer.
- Don't squeeze or press the grapes because this will cloud your jelly.
- In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine grape juice and sugar.
- Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil.
- Stir in pectin. Boil hard for one minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
- Quickly pour jelly into sterilized jars, wiping the rims with a damp paper towel. Center lids on jars and secure rims to finger tight.
- Place jars in a boiling water canner for ten minutes.
- Remove jars, allow to cool, and store.
2 hours of the prep time indicated include allowing the juice to strain out of the grapes while you do other things. Processing time is included in the cooking time.