What You'll Learn

  1. Introduction
  2. The Recipe
The Recipe

Step One: Prepare the Jars

This recipe will yield about 7 cups of jelly, so get enough canning jars together to hold it. Clean the jars in hot water or in the dishwasher, and place the canning lids in boiling water until thoroughly heated.

Step Two: Extract the Juice

Ingredients:
3 to 3 1/2 lbs. Concord grapes
1/2 cup water

Yield:
4 cups juice

Rinse grapes gently with water, then pluck from stem. Place grapes in large pot, crush (a potato masher works well), and add about 1/2 cup of water. Cover and simmer gently to allow juice to flow from grapes.

Simmer about 15 to 20 minutes. Strain through a jelly bag, available at most kitchen stores, or use a conventional strainer lined with a double layer of cheesecloth. The result will be pure grape juice, free of seeds and skin.

You may stop at this point and freeze the grape juice if you'd prefer to make your jelly later.

Step Three: Make the Jelly

Ingredients:
4 cups extracted grape juice
7 cups of sugar
1 pouch liquid fruit pectin

Yield:
7 cups jelly

Pour the juice into a large pot. Add 7 cups of sugar (this is not a typo — you really need this much sugar!) and stir. Cook on high heat, stirring constantly with a large, long-handled spoon until the jelly comes to a full rolling boil. Be careful — this stuff gets really hot!

Continue stirring constantly and have your assistant pour the liquid pectin into the pot. Allow jelly to return to a full boil (about 5 seconds) then time for exactly one minute. Remove pot from heat promptly.

Skim off any foam that may have collected. (This helps to produce a crystal-clear jelly. If you leave the foam it will cloud your jelly — and after all this work, who wants cloudy jelly?)

Step Four: Can and Store the Jelly

Ladle the jelly into the prepared jars.

Once the jars have been filled, place a hot lid onto each jar and twist on a band. Why must the lid be hot? The inside of the lid is lined with rubber, which expands when heated. Once it's placed on a jar and secured tightly with the band, it begins to cool down and contract. This creates the tight seal that is typical of canning.

Store your glistening jars of Concord grape jelly in a cool, dry place and hold back your desire to eat it all at once! The jelly will keep well for a year or more if stored properly. Once opened, it must be refrigerated.

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