Pumpkins, apples, and pears are certainly the traditional fruits of fall, but let’s not forget concord grapes.
The past month has been extremely hectic so finding time to go grape picking was not in the cards. Thankfully there are some wonderful people in my life and I was graced with two deliveries of grapes for me to can. One batch was super sweet and the other was more on the tart side. This worked out perfectly for making different tasting jellies, syrups, spreads, and juice.
The first thing I decided to make with the Concords was a batch of grape jelly. For this I used the sweeter grapes so I could use as little sugar as I wanted with Clear Jel as the thickening agent. The consistency is absolutely perfect. It spreads like softened butter.
Concord Grape Jelly
- 3 Cups Concord Grape Juice
- 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
- 5 Tbsp. Clear Jel mixed with 1/2 Cup Water
- 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
The hardest part of making grape jelly is separating the grapes from the stems. Once that is done, just throw the grapes in a stock pot and with an immersion blender puree the grapes, seeds and all. By pureeing the grapes this way, there is no need to add any water that would dilute the grape juice.
After the grapes have enough juice in the pan to prevent scorching, put the stock pot on the stove and turn it up to medium-high. Stirring constantly, bring the grapes to a near boil. As the grapes heat up, juice will begin to flow. Take the stick blender once again and give the grapes a good run through, being sure to puree the grapes as much as possible.
Remove the grapes from the stove and spoon mixture into a strainer to separate the juice from the seeds and skins. The result will be pure grape juice.
Measure 3 cups of grape juice, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and lemon juice back into the stock pot. Combine the Clear Jel with water and stir the slurry into the grape juice mixture in the stock pot. Turn the heat to medium-high and stir constantly until jelly thickens. Do not let it boil too fast as it will be very thick and will splatter. Once it reaches a full boil, remove from heat and ladle into hot jars. Cap jars and process for 15 minutes in a water bath.
There is nothing like the sweet smell of Concords in the kitchen as the grapes simmer on the stove. How wonderful it is to have such generous people in my life, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.