Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Lily's Wild Grape Jelly
Lily and I made wild grape jelly earlier this week, using the Black Spanish grapes from our backyard grapevine. It was fun, but rather labor intensive. The jelly is delicious, though, and it was worth the trouble.
Here's Lily, showing the fruits of our efforts. :o) We had enough jelly to fill another half dozen jars, but I didn't have any more jars, so we poured the rest into a couple of milk shake glasses to use right away. Tonight we had peanut butter and wild grape jelly sandwiches for dinner. Yum!
We used a combination of several different recipes. Here's the finalized version.
Lily's Homemade Wild Grape Jelly
3 1/2 lbs. grapes
1 1/2 C water
1 pkg. pectin (We used Ball Fruit Jell Pectin)
Juice of 1 lemon
7 C sugar (If we make this again, I think we will use a bit less sugar).
1. Put the grapes into a large saucepan, pour in the water, mash the grapes and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. When the grapes are soft, pour the mixture carefully into a colander lined with a double thickness of gauze and set over a bowl or other container. Strain the juice from the grapes through the gauze, pressing the grapes to get out as much juice as possible. You should end up with about 5 cups of grape juice. (I only got 4 cups from the 3 1/2 lbs. of grapes, so I cooked up another smaller batch. It may have been because the grapes we used were so small--about the size of big blueberries and full of seeds).
3. Measure 5 cups of juice into a saucepan, add the lemon juice. Bring to a rolling boil, stir in the pectin and the sugar. Boil hard for one minute. (Be careful, I let mine boil over).
4. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Ladle jelly into prepared jars to within 1/8" of the top, wipe rims with a clean cloth, place the lids on and screw on the rings. Turn the jars over for 5 minutes, then turn them upright.
5. Label the jars after they have thoroughly cooled.
To prepare the jars, boil jars, lids and rings in water for at least 10 minutes. Let them stand in the water while you prepare the jelly. Remove them when you are ready to fill the jars. We had a dozen 4 oz. jelly jars, but you can use larger jars, too.
When the lids are pressed down in the middle, they should not pop back up if they are properly sealed. Ours didn't all seal immediately, but after awhile none of the lids popped up when pressed.
Seeing the cute little jars of sparkling purple/red jelly made us feel so happy and proud of our accomplishment. Lily is looking forward to sharing her jelly with her family when she goes home.