Intro: Grape Jelly
I was cleaning out the frig so we'd have some place to store leftovers from Easter supper and found four pounds of over ripe grapes shoved to the back. Since throwing out unused produce is a common occurrence in this household i decided to stop the vicious cycle and make jelly...
After all, everyone loves jelly, even if they don't use it.
Imaging a picture of grapes in a bag here, (camera fail!).
Step 1: Clean and Cook the Grapes
First thing you should do is wash the grapes, follow that by picking them off the stems, you don't need to be perfect. Be sure to pick out any moldy or mushy grapes, we aren't trying to make ourselves sick.
I had half green and half red grapes. I cooked them for about 20 minutes until they were a delicious mush.
Step 2: Strain
Line a colander with cheese cloth and drain the mush into a bowl for a couple of hours, when it's cool gather up the cheese cloth and squeeze any leftover juice from the mush, compost the mush.
Step 3: Cook the Juice
I got three cups of juice from the grapes, probably could have done better, but whatever. So I added two cups of sugar so it wouldn't be too sweet, and boiled over medium heat until the candy thermometer read 220 degrees Fahrenheit. As you can see, even three cups in a 6 qt. pot tried to boil over, do not leave it unattended.
Step 4: Canning
So I decided not to can such a small quantity, you can do a standard boiling water process for 5-10 minutes and it will keep for a year. Instead I washed out an Ikea Beer Mug with boiling water and poured the jelly in and covered with saran wrap, it should last 3 weeks in the frig.
Let gel overnight and enjoy.
you probably noticed that it is a little runny, there are two possible causes, I used over ripe fruit which is low in pectin, and I used less sugar then generally recommended (3/4 cup for each cup of juice). Next time I would probably just cook a chopped up apple with the grapes to add pectin.
BTW, it tastes freaking awesome, better than any commercial grape jelly I've ever had.