Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Grape To Meet You - Part 1

My husband brought me home some wild grapes that grow near his work.  These luscious orbs are his contribution to my blog. 

He asked me if I would like to make grape jam.  How could I refuse?  Making jam from scratch was a lot of work, but it was also fun. It was especially fun because we made the jam together.
 Now the big question - What is Jam? Yes, there is a difference between jam and jelly.  Jam contains both fruit juice and pieces of the fruit's (or vegetable's) fleshJelly is a clear fruit spread consisting of set, sweetened fruit (or vegetable) juice

So, how do you make grape jam? 
  • Wash and sterilize all jars, lid tops, and ladles.
    • To do: bring boiling water in a caning pot, half full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Put jars in boiling water in canner to sterilize. Pour boiling water over flat lids in a saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. When you are ready to fill the jars, pull from boiling water and drain well before filling.
  • Always measure exactly as this will ensure success.  This is especially important for jam.
The recipe ingredients:

• 6 cups prepared fruit [about 4 lbs. ripe grapes]
• 1 box powdered fruit pectin
• 7 ½ cups [3 ¼ lbs] sugar

• Prepare the fruit. You do this by holding the ripe grape between the index finger and the thumb and squeeze the grape. This will cause the pulp to pop out and you will have the skin of the grape in your fingers. 
• Put the pulp in one pan and the skins in another. The pan you are using for the cooking of the jam should be of steel rather than aluminum and large enough to let the jam cook and boil up without spilling out.
 • Once you have separated the pulp from the skins, you are going to add one cup of water to the pulp that is in the larger pan. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer 5 minutes. 

• Press through a sieve or food mill to remove the seeds.  I used my Kitchenaid with it’s amazing attachments to do this step.

• I then put the skins into a blender and puree them. 
• Now add the pureed skins to the pulp you have. 

• Measure six [6] cups of your pulp and skins mixture and put into a very large saucepan. Remember you want the pan to be big enough to be able to bring the mixture to a boil and not have it boil over the sides.

• Now comes the part where you are making the jam. Add powdered pectin to fruit in saucepan and mix well. Bring to a hard boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar all at once. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.

• Remove the pan from heat and skim off foam with metal spoon. Then alternately stir and skim for about 5 minutes to cool slightly and to prevent floating fruit. Ladle quickly into glasses. Cover jam with sterilized lids.

• I then put the closed jars into a boiling water bath for about 12 minutes to finish the process. 
• This recipe will make approximately six or seven pints.  I got 11 jelly jars out of this batch.

Side note – Anywhere that the grape juice, skins, pulp touched I got a lacy red rash w/ welts here and there and it itched (OMG DID IT ITCH!!) with a buzzing, zinging kind of itch.  We used wild grapes so I don’t think it was pesticide causing the itch. 

Concord grapes do have a type of histamine in them that you may cause an allergy - even if you were never allergic before.  Once the grapes are processed, there shouldn’t be a problem.


  1. Great recipe, thanks for sharing! I used pinot noir wine as a replacement for the water - turned out great. Thanks again! :)

  2. Thank you for the great instructions and pictures. One step that you could have cut out was removing the skins to later puree them in the blender. Too time consuming and unnecessary if you're going to use the food mill later anyhow. If you just put the entire grape in the pot to cook, mash it with a potato masher and then strain the entire mess in a food mill, you end up with the same thing. Deep purple juice.

  3. Does it matter on what grapes you use?

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Judy MessengerOctober 1, 2015 at 11:37 PM
    Anonymous said: "Thank you for the great instructions and pictures. One step that you could have cut out was removing the skins to later puree them in the blender. Too time consuming and unnecessary..."

    Dear Anonymous and those who may be interested,

    The quick method is good if you don't have time for jamming; though if you find you have help and part of a day, the flavor and health benefit obtained by separating the skins is worth the trouble. Google it. The difference between the two methods means the difference in the end products. Really good grape jam vs "WOW what is that!? It's WONDERFUL, can I keep eating it?" jam. My family says "Well worth the trouble, I'll help!"

    Just to note, grape sweetness varies with the terra and weather conditions, however it is good to know that later harvested grapes need less sugar. Here we harvest as soon as the leaves fall from the vine and use this ratio: 2 cups of seeded grape mash to 1 cup of sugar + 1 teaspoon of molasses and 1 teasp. dry pectin. I simmer the skins, after returning to the seeded mash, a little longer, about <20> minutes to soften the skins. Then add the sugar, boil hard a few minutes, add the pectin then bring the mixture to 220 degrees or less if you like it softer.

    Like grain and most every thing edible, the outside and the middle ie skins and seeds are where the nutrition lies. So let's also use the seed, shall we? Rinse the seed "must" in a sieve and spread it out to dry. When dry, rub your hands with a bit of coconut oil and rub the seeds between your hands to coat them lightly. (This will help with preservation of the grape seed oil when it is stored at room temp.) Then roast them a few minutes at about 325-350 degrees until they are fragrant. Let them cool and use in your pepper grinder on bread as a crust topping or as part of bruschetta or in baked goods whole as you would nuts. Store the majority of them in the freezer before and/or after roasting.

    They are wonderful on a dark green salad; especially perfect with roasted cheese and sweet fruit like roasted goat cheese or brie and grapes. Try pairing with garlic, grapes and herbs such as rosemary and/or thyme, tarragon or ground cardamom & cracked black & pink pepper corns. For a quick trip to Heaven and back, fill an avocado half with soft cheese, sprinkle with pink salt, top with halved grapes. a few leaves of chopped tarragon, and a drizzle of olive oil. Pre-heat oven to 450, turn on the broiler and let them go until the cheese begins to brown and sizzle, top with roasted grape seed from your grinder. You might want to have some bruschetta'd crusty garlicky deeelizzzzious bread and red wine handy! =)

  6. Miss Cher,

    Very well done! You should keep up the good work. :)

    I found your blog looking for zucchini pie of all things, but not the pizza kind. I find it a great idea and must try it, though I will tweak it a bit by adding some sweet pepper, a tiny little bit hot pepper, some thyme, oregano and romano cheese and cubing the zucc's much smaller. Sounds Wonderful! Thank you!