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Put up the grape jelly for the fall.

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by fishingpol, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    This years harvest was about a week or so earlier than last year. We have two vines, but they spread considerably this year, (thanks to my lack of pruning) and produced more fruit. The bunches were skinnier with smaller grapes than last year. I remember last year the bunches seemed very fat and juicy. But, the flavor was so much better this year.

    I picked about 2 five gallon buckets and there are probably 15 more gallons left hanging on the vines. The hornets are going crazy eating the sugar from the fallen fruit, picking may have to be early morning. We mashed up and cooked 9 cups of juice and 13 cups of sugar, with 2 packages of pectin.

    We did a side by side taste test with a jar of last years jelly and hands down, the flavor was much better this year. We decided we will make a second batch probably tomorrow to finish up the harvest. The rest will go to the neighbors for picking if they want them.

    One good thing about homemade jelly is just natural ingriedients. I pulled a commercially made jar from the fridge and saw fructose and high fructose corn syrup.

    IMG_1179.JPG


    We tried a food processor to mash the grapes up, but it was faster to strip the bunches and mash by hand. After boiling, they went through cheesecloth in a colander.

    IMG_1181.JPG



    Last years jelly on the left. No change in the receipe. The grape just had a better wow factor this year. Nicer color too.

    IMG_1195.JPG


    Todays yield.

    IMG_1198.JPG

    I am thinking of entering a few jars in a local fall fair in a few weeks. I really don't know much about making jelly, but I may enter just for fun. I hear they judge it on flavor, clarity, no foam or bubbles in it, etc. The next batch may require a little more care.

    If anyone wants to do a canned fruit trade, a jar for a jar,let me know, we should get one going.

    I would love to try what others have going. Anyone have some blueberry jam?

    Maybe I need a third batch...
    Lewiston, Jack Straw, ScotO and 3 others like this.

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  2. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Nice.

    I'd love to learn how to do this. Hallockville is holding canning classes, think I'm going to sign up.

    Don't want to give anyone botulism !!
  3. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    Everything gets a rolling boil, even when sanitizing the jars. This is the second time I've done this, and found it not too difficult.

    Here's the link for the site I used:


    http://pickyourown.org/grapejelly.htm
  4. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    have you ever made grape butter with the leftovers from the jelly. My sister makes it and its amazing. Pretty much a grape version of apple butter. I want to try some this year but have to buy the grapes.
  5. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    No, I'll look into the recipe. I have quite a bit left, so I may try it. Our friends in VA. were making apple butter last week.
  6. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    Ok, did a second round of jelly and made grape butter, but the butter did not work out well. I think it needed to cook down some more. Three hours cooking was enough for me.;sick

    Here is a pic of the total weekend production minus 2 given away to relatives. The wife came up with an idea to build some shelves in the kitchen to put the jars on. That will be a later thread.

    IMG_1208.JPG
    Lewiston, ScotO, GAMMA RAY and 2 others like this.
  7. Capt

    Capt Burning Hunk

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    Looks awesome! I heard because of the extremely dry weather we have all had this year, it was going to be a great year for grapes, and wine!
  8. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    I definitely agree. On the second batch I cut the sugar by a few cups. I picked the reddest bunches I could find. The color of the second batch was a shade darker red too.
  9. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Damn! Looks great! Most recipes I see call for 1:1 juice:sugar. Can you make jam without extra pectin? I believe you put in something like 1/4 under-ripe fruit and cook longer.

    Well- your jelly has fructose in it- it's one of the natural sugars in grapes! (fructose just means fruit-sugar- it's no less natural than white table sugar) Last I read- there's no proven difference health-wise.
  10. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    Usually the apple butter we make takes half a day to cook down. You can always pull out the grape butter and put it in a crock pot for half the day. We have done that before, canned late into the night then realize the next morning it wasnt thick enough. Just opened the jars and put it in the crock pot and later that day it was all good.
  11. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    We made a few batches last year from our concords...but the vines died off this year. Hoping for some fruit next year.

    We didn't mash them prior to boiling....once you cook them they pretty much get all mushy without any extra help.

    We just used the store-bought dry pectin...it has the ratio for sugar and juice on there.
  12. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, the butter really has to reduce. Our Va. Friends had their apple butter in a kettle over an outside wood fire. I can see that it takes quite a while. Our grape butter end product was not reduced enough and it was super flavorful, but it just came out a mess. It is almost more work than I want to do for the little results. I did have to try it though.
  13. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    The grapes I used are about half the size of concords=twice the work to pick and strip. A quick mash with a potato masher was all it took. The end results were worth it though. I used store bought pectin too which set well.
  14. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    I think jam is keeping the processed fruit and not straining. Thick and chunky, sounds good to me.

    You burst my bubble on the earthy-goodness of homemade jelly on the fructose thing(damn you chemist types);)
  15. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Jam tend to be less stiff and gelatinous as well. I made blackberry jam without added pectin once. It was strained. Came out like tar because I cooked it way too long- but it was still super delicious- just tore the bread when I spread it :)
  16. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Made crabapple jelly on my Progress Hybrid Cooktop last week. Worked wonderfully but got the house a little hot. Crabapples were not the greatest because of our drought, so took forever to prepare (cut off stem and blossom end, quarter apples), but added distilled water to cover, cooked until soft, drained through cheesecloth, and then decided to do a second, and then a third, simmering of the same fruit, because the crabapples were so darn small I got little juice first time. Tried adding 1/2 c sugar to 1/2 cup of the third batch of juice. It jelled just find and tasted great. So made jelly of all..equal part sugar and juice, cook 4 c juice at a time. Very good guidance for jelly/jam/preserve making in Joy of Cooking. I use brown sugar when I am making the jelly (crabapple or red currant) for using to flavor white sauce (for creamed chicken or ham)--gives a robust flavor. Instead of using pectin, if you want raspberries or strawberries to jell, you can add a bit of crabapple juice or simmer some skins with the berries. Using underripe berries is supposed to work, but three generations of our family have never had our strawberry jam thicken. That's just fine with us...it's still the best tasting strawberry jam you'll ever find. We use Red, red strawberry jam recipe. This year was only able to make 1c of wild black raspberry jam...berries were just dried up wrinkled things despite my efforts to water the bushes..started too late...could only collect a handful with any juice in them. But is it ever worth the effort. NOTHING beats wild black raspberry for color or flavor IMO.
  17. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Ya, I mowed down the blackberries that were taking over my yard. I can still taste the jam... I do have crabapples in my yard- I should experiment with making jelly with those and peppers
  18. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Jon- I'd definitely be up for a trade grape for habanero. If you're not into spicy stuff, I'd understand
  19. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Jon, I got nothin' but homemade maple syrup. I'd be up for a trade, if you like syrup!
  20. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    I'll will try it. The older I get, I think I am more tolerant to hot and spicy foods.
  21. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    Definitely Scott. We love maple syrup here. I had this can sitting in the back of a shelf in my mud room for almost a year. Once opened, I only took a little bit at a time to make it last several months.
    IMG_1263.JPG

    I have 8 ounce jars of jelly. I'll PM you guys to even swap with what you got. I am going to make one more batch today as a lot more grapes fell, and there is just enough to make one more batch. I have tons of yellow jackets to contend with eating the sugar from the dropped ones.
    ScotO likes this.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I have the best memories of my mom's homemade concord grape jam. It was bursting with flavor and made Welches seem boring in comparison.

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