Saturday, July 31, 2010

Canadian Saver Wants To Know...

 Here are the grapes last year, still on the vine and ready to harvest .
In a comment added to last week’s post Canadian Saver said...
“I may need to ask for your jam recipe as we have grapes too, 1 really big vine and many transplants that will start producing lots.”

Well here on the Witch’s Island we love to share recipes!

Last year on Rib Fest Day we harvested our entire crop of grapes (at least all the ones that the birds had left for us) and turned them into the best jelly we’ve ever made. We posted some pictures of the crop and the resulting jars of jelly in a post titled Vacation is over, RATS!!!!! We didn’t, unfortunately, weigh or measure the amount of fruit that we actually harvested but you can see from this picture approximately how many grapes we are talking about.

After cleaning, this is how many grapes were left by the birds for us.

Before you start making the jelly you should have your jars and lids washed and sterilized. For this recipe we used 8 250ml and 2 500ml jars. Results may vary...

The first thing we did after we brought in the grapes was to wash them and remove as many of the stems and leaves that we could. We did this gently so as not to break open any of the grapes and lose the juice. Next, we put the cleaned grapes into an enamelware corn pot and crushed them with a potato masher. We then added 2 cups of water and brought the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent burning. We kept it boiling for 5 minutes and then strained the liquid through a colander with very small openings into a large bowl. The colander we have was very effective at straining out the pieces of skin and the seeds but yours might not be as good. We tried doing this part with cheesecloth in other years but we found that it was awkward to work with and it absorbed too much of the juice. It was so much easier to drain the boiling hot liquid through the colander; no burned fingers!

We let the boiled fruit drain into the bowl for an hour or so, poking and prodding it every so often to force as much of the juice through as possible. The left-over solids were then dumped on the compost pile. We ended up with 10 cups of very purple grape juice.

Next we poured the juice back into the corn pot and brought it back to a boil, stirring often. Then we added 7 1/2 cups of sugar (we like our jelly tart, you might want to add a little extra sugar if you like things sweet) and boiled the mixture for about 7 minutes. Then we added 1/4 cup of lemon juice and continued boiling for about 3 minutes. When we reached the jelly stage (checked by the frozen plate method) we poured the liquid into the hot sterilized jars and we were done!

Look at all that grape-y goodness! You know it won’t last long!
The grape jelly is left to cool before storage.
I hope this works out as well for you as it did for us!


Gill - That British Woman said...

I am so glad I popped by, as I have a grape vine, and last year the birds ate all the grapes, but this year I am hoping to get them before the birds. Thanks for the detailed instructions on how to make jelly as I had no idea.


Canadian Saver said...

Thank you so much!! This is an easy enough looking recipe :-) I can't wait to see how much fruit we get this year, I definitely want to try this :-)


Gill - That British Woman said...

I picked my grapes tonight, so will attempt to make grape jelly tomorrow. I am going to put a link back to this post on my blog as well. Hope you don't mind,