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Preserving the Harvest canning, drying, smoking, etc.

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Old 09/04/11, 03:21 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: TN
Posts: 102
help! I want to make grape jam

We just got some dark red, seedless grapes from Publix, and they are lovely and very sweet. I think perfect for grape jam/preserves. I haven't made jam before, and reading the things I found online, it appears they all say to have the skins removed and cooked separately for a while.

The recipes all call for concord grapes. These red grapes have pretty thin skins and don't 'spit out' the innards like concord grapes do, nor do they have seeds, so I am thinking I might just be able to mash it all up, then cook it together. Or, cook for awhile, run through a food processor to break up the skins into tiny bits, and then finish cooking.

Also, I think I would need the Ball no-sugar pectin (I'm hoping I can find it at the grocery store when I get the grapes), as I would want to use splenda instead of sugar.

Before I go out and buy more of the grapes to make jam, does anyone think this would work?

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Old 09/04/11, 06:50 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Northeastern Oklahoma
Posts: 5,039
You know, I don't know why I've never thought of that! I love the red seedless grapes and bet they would make yummy jelly or jam. I don't like Concord grape jelly, never did, even as a kid.

Do you have a food mill of any kind? That would probably be your best bet. I'm thinking the skins might toughen up on cooking and make for "chewy" jam (for lack of a better word, lol). But I think you need to more than just "mash them up". Maybe if your food processor chopped them up really small, it might work, since the skins aren't real thick. If it was me, I think I'd run them through the processor before any cooking. That's how I make jam with my food mill.

I'd think they wouldn't take as much sweetening as usual either, since they're already pretty sweet. I've never done the no-sugar or Splenda, so can't help there, sorry. I tried to do a search for some recipes, but didn't find anything specific, so I can't offer any more constructive advice, but I do like the idea, so thanks for mentioning it! I may have to play around with it sometime and see what I can come up with. Good luck!
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Old 09/04/11, 11:24 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: W. Oregon
Posts: 10,059
I use a steam juicer, then make jelly. grape skins are tough and bitter even on sweet grapes. But grape pie....James

Grape Pie
3 cups red seedless grapes
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in cup water
1 tablespoon butter
pastry for 2-crust 9 inch pie
Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the grapes, sugar and water to a boil over high heat for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and dissolved cornstarch and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add the butter.

Pour the grape filling into the pie shell and top with the remaining pie crust. Carefully crimp the edges of the pie to seal. Prick the top crust with a fork. Bake for 50 minutes.
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Old 09/05/11, 01:24 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: TN
Posts: 102
I'm confused - if the grape skins get tough and bitter, why do the recipes all say to cook them and then add them back together with the pulp? I am thinking about just taking the plunge, use the food processor to cut everything up really tiny, then cook for the jam. Seriously, how badly can it come out?

I've canned 6 pints of peaches, 3 pints of tomatoes, and 5 half pints of apple butter so far. Haven't tasted a bit of it yet.
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Old 09/05/11, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: south Carolina
Posts: 629
The recipe we use does not have the skins added back in. I guess it would depend on the type of grape maybe?

We have scuppernong and muscadine grapes around here and they have very tough skins. We cook the mashed grapes (3 lb) for 10 min then press the pulp out through a strainer. Put the pulp and 1.5 cups honey on to boil and start checking for 'gel' after 10 minutes. It is very yummy!
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Old 09/05/11, 08:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: TN
Posts: 102
So, I threw the whole grapes in the food processor, and they were tiny pieces in just a few seconds. Followed the recipe on the pectin package, but the stuff was still pretty thin when it was done - ok I don't think I measured things very well, so any failure is probably all my fault. If it doesn't gel in a few days, it will be a tasty syrup for pancakes.
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Old 09/05/11, 08:40 PM
blynn's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,555
I food processed my grape skins last year and tossed them in the jam, tasted just fine!

I had enough grape jam to make 9 half pints, so I froze two of them. The frozen stuff actually tasted better than the canned. Still going to can it this year though, don't have room in the freezer for jars of jam.
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Old 09/05/11, 09:40 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 16
Oh yum - that sounds good. Usually when I make jam, I end up with about half jam and half syrup. lol Btw, runny jam is amazing on ice cream!
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