Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wild Grape Jelly

It's amazing what you can find if you just open your eyes and look around a little. While on a walk on the trail with my husband and son, we saw what looked to be wild grapes.
 My daughter and I returned the next day to pick all that we could reach. Some vines grew much too high while others were too far in the brush.
 We ended up with a nice haul! After soaking the grapes in water and vinegar (weak) to kill the spiders (gross!) I drained and rinsed them. Then I sorted the grapes while watching television. I learned something, too: it's always important to remember you have a bowl of grapes on your lap when the phone rings, especially when you have light carpet.  Luckily, I had some carpet cleaner hiding in the cabinet. 
Then it was time to make jelly! After cooking down the grapes and smashing them (using a recipe from PickYourOwn.org) and then draining the juice, I ended up with about 4 1/2 cups of juice. I had to add a little water to obtain the required 5 cups, and then made the jelly. The recipe made 7 half-pints of jelly.

The jelly turned okay, but when I bought pectin, I didn't know there was such a thing as low-sugar pectin. After I got over having to add SEVEN cups of sugar, I resolved to be sure and buy the low-pectin next time, or not use it at all.

No-pectin jam is possible, because I also made blueberry-elderberry jam and just did the spoon test to see if it had jelled.  Not sure I'll do that again, because sorting elderberries is extremely tedious, and I only got 1 1/2 half-pints.  It certainly makes a nice gastrique!

I'm really enjoying this canning thing, and now that I have 9 gallons of Bartlett pears in my kitchen, I'm ready to make some more jelly!

No comments:

Post a Comment