Saturday, August 30, 2014

Concord Grape Jelly

This was my first year of getting a substantial grape harvest. I had to beat the birds to my grapes, but I won. I actually wrapped the grapes in tulle to discourage the birds.  This year I focused on jelly and hopefully next year I will be better prepared for the battle of the birds and get enough to make juice.  

Juicing Grapes and Other Soft Fruits

1.  Wash the grapes and stem them.

2.  As you stem them put them in a quart measuring cup.  With each quart of fruit you will need to add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of water to a sauce pan.

3.  Bring fruit to a boil, turn it down and let it simmer. As the fruit softens mash with a potato masher.

4. Strain the softened fruit through a dampened jelly bag or through a Victorio Sauce Maker and let the juice drain into a bowl

5.  I put this juice in a half gallon jar and let it set overnight in the refrigerator.  Grape juice has a lot of sediment that you don't want in your jelly.  It will make it look cloudy.

6.  The next day in a large measuring bowl put food grade cheese cloth over the top and hold it in place with a rubber band.  Without shaking or stirring contents of juice pour the juice through the cheesecloth.  You will need 4 cups of juice.  Do not pour out the sediment that settled to the bottom.

Making Concord Grape Jelly

4 cups of Concord grape juice
7 cups of sugar
1 pouch of liquid pectin

Mix the juice and sugar in a large saucepan.  Bring it to a boil and add the liquid pectin.  Return to a full rolling and boil for 1 minute.

Skim the foam off the top. There is a lot of foam with this jelly so do not double the recipe and use a large pot. Ladle jelly into hot sterile half pint jelly jars.  Adjust two piece caps.  Process in a water bath canner for 10 mins.  At 5000 ft add another 10 minutes.

When the time is up turn off the heat and remove the lid of the canner.  Wait another 10 minutes before removing jars from the canner.  Let them rest till cool on the counter.

This makes a beautiful, clear jelly that is so delicious.

 "Wish I hadn't Done That!" Wisdom

After the juice has settled for a day, do not use milking filters to strain the juice.  I tried this and it barely dripped through the filter. It would have taken days to filter. I recommend cheese cloth.

I would love to have you share any wisdom and tips you have learned to help us all out.

If you do a lot of canning, I recommend a stainless steel canner.  The bottom does not warp like an enamel canner.  If you don't can very often then an enamel canner will work just fine.  In purchasing a Sauce Maker, I would only buy one that attaches to the table with a clamp.  It seems more secure. 

I love my Victorio Canner!

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