All I can say is to make Grape Jelly from fresh grapes is a process. I have never even cared for grape jelly. When a neighbor was going to let their grapes go to waste what is a girl going to do? So I used How to Make Grape Jelly – Easily! With Step-by-step Photos, Recipe, Directions, Ingredients and Costs as a general guide on how to make jelly using fresh grapes.
I also researched many recipes with different ratios of pectin to juice to sugar. This was my first time making jelly and I decided to combine a recipe that sounded right to me. This could have turned out bad after all my labor. Except it turned out great the perfect flavor and consistency. We even ate it the next day.
After picking all the grapes and looking into recipes all suggested not using green grapes. Well when life gives you green grapes you have to use green grapes. With the exception to a small bag of purple champagne grapes I had thrown into the freezer before they spoiled. I ended up with a beautiful rosy colored jelly. It is sweet but not too sweet and actually spreadable.
If you need to use unsweetened grape juice you can do so. If you have access to grapes pick them and see how it goes. In the end I think I put out more effort than was needed but oh well. I am happy with my end product.
*This made 13 half pint or 8 pint jars with a bit remaining.
- 8 cups grape juice, I used fresh
- 7 cups sugar
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 2 (1.75 oz.) packages of pectin (1 regular and 1 no sugar added)
To make the fresh grape juice:
This is how I made my juice, it might not have been the easiest or the best method but it seemed to get me an end product worthy of jelly making.
If using fresh grapes the first step is to wash them well and remove all big stems. A few little stems won’t hurt anything you are going to strain them out.
Place grapes in a large pot and give them a good crush with a potato masher. You can also put them into a food processor as I read but this seemed extreme.
Heat grapes over medium heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until they become tender. This is going to help extract the juices.
I used my apple sauce food mill and ground small batches of my grapes into a deep pot. This left me with juice and all the skins and stems in the mill to throw out.
After all the grinding of the grapes I then strained my juice using a jelly straining clothe. This took out any bits of stems that may have gotten by the mill. This was time-consuming to pass through the clothe, so make a cup of coffee while you are waiting. The finished juice after being strained is now ready to measure for your jelly. I froze the excess juice I had in a jar for later use or batch of jelly.
To make grape jelly:
Prepare jars by sterilizing them in hot water or dishwasher. Place lids in a pan of warm water. Heat water or canning bath so it is ready to process the jelly.
Use at least a 6 quart pot for making the jelly so you do not have a problem with the mixture boiling over when it has to boil.
Combine grape juice, lemon juice, and both packages of pectin. Over medium/high heat bring the mixture to a rolling boil stirring constantly.
Boil for 1 minutes.
Add in sugar and again stirring constantly bring back to a boil and again boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and ladle into prepared jars. Place a lid and screw ban on each jar. Process pint jars for about 10 minutes depending on elevation. If my instructions on the canning process are to vague please see the link above.
Once the jars have processed remove and allow to cool for 24 hours. Label and store your jars. Jelly should set up within 1 week if not sooner. We ate some the next day.