Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jelly Time

After processing the grapes into juice, it was time to make the jelly.

I put five cups of grape juice into the pot, turned on the heat to high and stirred in the package of pectin until it was dissolved.  Brought the juice/pectin to a roiling boil for one minute, then dumped the six cups of sugar in.  Stirred until it came back to a roiling boil for a full minute then took it off the burner.

Poured the almost-jelly into pint jars, wiped rims, placed lids and bands on and processed in my canning pot for 10 minutes.  While the first batch was in the canner, I started on the second batch.

And here's what I ended up with:

Actually, there is one more pint jar and a small jelly jar but I stuck those in the fridge (have to taste test you know), so I got over nine pints of grape jelly processed. I also have about a pound and a half of grapes as well as 4 1/2 cups of juice left.  I put the grapes in a bag and the juice in a glass jar (with room for expansion, of course!) and stuck it in the freezer.  I figure when I get my butt back outside I'll pick some more grapes and continue my jelly making.

I did notice that the jelly was much darker than the 2010 harvest and it seems to taste a lot more "grapey".  I think it may be because the grapes were so small and maybe the grapey'ness was therefore more concentrated.  Got me.  All I know is that if I can get another two batches done I'll be set in grape jelly for at least a year.

When we went berry picking at the local berry farm this spring, I picked enough to make over seven pints of blackberry jam.  And in the next few days I'll be trying my hand at Apple (core) Jelly.

I think we'll be set in the jelly department after that.  Now if I could just grow peanuts :)


  1. I heard on the news that wine grapes were smaller this year due to weather and more flavor concentrated.

  2. Wow, you got alot of jelly! You seem to have this jelly making down pat, so I have a question. I've made jelly twice and both times the sugar,fruit/juice mixture has foamed up and spilled out over the pan. It was a mess. Did I have it too hot or cook it too long?

  3. Yes, you are on a jelly roll...couldn't resist. I do think that the heat and lack of moisture has concentrated them. I have been trying to get to the wild grapes before the darn birds do (so far, they're winning) just so I can make some juice. By the time I am done with my tomatoes, I don't know if I'll be up to canning anything else for a while.

  4. Lovely! I have yet to start my jellies. I just put everything in the freezer and wait for cooler weather, LOL. I love good grapey (or fruity) jams and jellies. Only homemade seem to be that way.

  5. Tombstone, hmmm, so I guess I'm actually NOT nuts hugh? Well, at least not for this particular reason.

    Kelly, there will definitely be a big foaming / boiling over potential right at the end. You can put in a 1/2 Tbsp. of butter in at the beginning to reduce the foaming, but it won't eliminate the bubbling over if you don't have a big enough pot. I actually had to almost drop my camera after that first picture as the jelly started to foam/boil and I had to pull it off the burner for a few seconds. I am always tempted to do a double batch in that pot as it seems as there should be room to do so, but then remember why I DON'T do it as the jelly will end up doubling in bulk when it gets to a roiling boil. But that means it's just one minute from being finished!

    Susan, yes I have a jelly roll. Oh wait, you didn't mean my midsection (or did you???). As I haven't been able to can a darned thing from my non-existent vegetable garden, I didn't mind so much canning jelly.

    Leigh, you know, I almost didn't even think about putting the remaining grapes/juice in the freezer to wait for later. It was a big "Duh" and "light bulb" moment for me!

  6. There's no way in the world that store-bought jam or jelly tastes nearly as good as homemade! We've really cut down on our jam/jelly consumption in the last few years. Seems that when you hit a certain age (ahem) your body doesn't do good things with sugary stuff put in it. Even though we're both active, it way too easy for us to put on the pounds.

    Years ago (we had another adult living with us) I used to strive for 100 pints of jam to make us through the year. For four people that seems like a lot, doesn't it? But we managed to go through it!

    P.S. So you really can't grow peanuts in your region?

  7. Good deal getting all that jelly put up! The color is gorgeous!! :)

  8. The pictures make me drool. We had a two small vines in our back yard growing up [our "vineyard" if you will. heehee] I picked all the grapes so my Grandmother could work her magic and make grape jelly and the BEST grape juice concentrate ever. We just added water. We spent a lot of summers purple around the mouth from that. :)

    What kind of grapes do you use? Ours were Concord - bad for eating but great for jelly, juice and wine.

  9. Looks fabulous! We went apple picking this weekend and they also had acres of muscadines that were rotting on the vine, crazy! Wonder if they couldn't afford the labor to pick or if they just rely on U-pick people and they didn't show up, was sad.