How to make it

  • Go out to your back yard and pick 5 pounds of grapes; clean, remove stems and bugs, rinse and drain.
  • Partially mash the grapes in a bowl to get the juices flowing.
  • Bring the grapes to a boil in a large sauce pot; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes to release the juice.
  • Process the grapes through a food mill to extract the solids and maximize the juice and jet.
  • Add make-up juice, if needed, to make a total of 5 cups of juice. Make up juice can be grape or apple as long as it is 100% juice, not from concentrate. Apple juice has pectin and helps the jelly set. My grapes are smaller than store bought grapes; hence more pits and peel. I had to add 1 cup of juice to make 5 cups.
  • Let the juice set in a cool place for several hours or overnight.
  • Strain through a large hand held or bowl wire sieve to get the larger particles separated out that would quickly clog up the cheesecloth. Consider it a coarse filter step.
  • Strain through two thicknesses of damp cheesecloth as a final filter. I have recently become aware that cheesecloth comes in different weaves. If you use the extra-fine cloth, only use one thickness for straining.
  • Add make-up juice again to make a total of 5 cups of juice.
  • Mix pectin and ½ cup sugar; dissolve in juice in a large sauce pot.
  • If you use low sugar pectin, it cuts the amount of sugar you need from 7 cups per batch to 4 cups.
  • Put a metal tablespoon in a glass of iced water in the fridge. This will be used to test the jelly set in later steps.
  • Get your canning supplies ready; sterilize the glass jars in the dish washer using heat dry; pour very hot but not boiling water over the lids to soften the seals and keep them there until ready to use; heat up water in the water bath canner; have additional water heated up to use as add-in water to the water bath when needed to keep the water bath level 1 to 2 inches above the top of the jars in process.
  • I use half-pint jars for canning my jellies.
  • Use a large enough pot to allow the grape-pectin mix to double in size without boiling over the edge of the pot because it will double in volume when it starts boiling. Bring the grape-pectin mixture to a boil that can not be stirred down (hard boil) over a medium-high heat; add the rest of the sugar all at once and bring it back to a hard boil; boil for 1 minute.
  • Take a half spoonful of grape juice on the chilled tablespoon and let it cool to room temperature. If it thickens up to the consistency you like, it is ready. If not, add in ¼ to ½ of another package of pectin and bring to a boil for another minute and retest.
  • Skim the surface of foam.
  • Ladle the liquid into the jars to ¼ inch from the top; wipe the jar top of any spilled jelly; seat the lid; finger tighten the ring; insert the jars into the boiling water canner.
  • Ensure the water level is at least 1 inch over the tops of the jars. Process for 5 minutes. Adjust process time for altitude. Remove the jars from the canner and let cool. Once cooled, check for a good seal by pressing down on the top center of the lid. If it makes a popping sound it has not sealed properly. Store the jar/s that do not seal in the fridge and use first.
  • It takes a leap of faith to submerge the jars if it is your first time canning. My first thought was the water was going to leak into the jars to replace the air gap and my jelly would be ruined. What happens is that the finger tight lids are tight enough to keep the air from escaping on its own when submerged. But as the air warms up it expands and builds up pressure on the inside of the jar and some of it forces its way out at the seal. The built up air pressure in the jar keeps the water from leaking into the jar because it is exerting a greater pressure from the inside than the water is exerting from the outside. When the jar is cooling the air contracts and pulls the lid down because the jar edge and lid have formed a seal. And now the air pressure inside the jar is less than the air pressure on the outside of the jar because some of the air escaped during the process time in the canner.
  • My jars started pinging their canning seal before I got all of the jars removed from the water bath.
  • The rings will be loose. Do not screw down the rings! If you screw down the rings, you run the chance of breaking the vacuum seal. You can even remove the rings after the jars are cool. They are only needed to hold the lids finger tight while the jars are processing in the water bath.
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Reviews & Comments 11

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  • knoxcop 12 years ago
    Oh my, Points! Your picture is beautiful. The instructions are so detailed, I believe I could try the jelly-making thing one day! Thanks for your hard work here on this posting. Wonderful and descriptive stuff--as usual. :-)

    Thanks, --Kn0x--
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    " It was excellent "
    laurieg ate it and said...
    Thanks points.
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  • momto5 12 years ago
    Added your recipe to my "Calling all Gardeners" Group. Great detailed instuctions. Thank you!
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  • pointsevenout 13 years ago
    I don't know what particular type of grape we have. It is red to purple when ripe, seeded, grows in an upright manner. Because of the erect growing habit, I'm sure it's an European or American-European hybrid vine. I'm thinking it's some kind of wine grape.
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  • lovingmybabbyalways 13 years ago
    And yes the pigs the fragrance is the best.
    I'm sure this grape jelly will make a great scent.
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  • lovingmybabbyalways 13 years ago
    Mmmm I will make this my 3 year old loves grape Jam on her toast in the morning. Now we can make it homemade together.
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  • thepiggs 13 years ago
    Don't you just love making your own jelly?! It's great and the fragrance in the house is THE best!

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    " It was excellent "
    notyourmomma ate it and said...
    Cool, thanks for the answer. I'll let it cool longer and double strain.
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  • pointsevenout 13 years ago
    I believe those crystals you speak of are called tartrate crystals. They are filtered out by letting the juice cool for a few hours to stimulate any crystal growth in the juice, then double straining will remove the crystal seed.
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    " It was excellent "
    notyourmomma ate it and said...
    Excellent instructions. I love making hot green pepper jelly and calomondin jam. My only attempt at grape jelly and I crystallized some of the sugar and somehow crunchy jelly is very off-putting. I just might have the courage to try again with these instructions.
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  • pointsevenout 13 years ago
    Pictures coming in 24 hours. Waiting for everything to set and cool down. Need to clean the jars and lids so they will be pretty for a picture. The one I have shows the minerals left after the water evaporated from the lids. Not very comely. Guess we have very hard water here.
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