Friday, October 16, 2009

Cooking My Coop Order Day 3: Concord Grapes

Concord grapes are indigenous to NJ where I live and therefore appear in my coop order at least annually.  They are one of the few fruits I still find a challenge as my family is not big on eating them out of hand.  No one minds the fact they like the flavor.  The tough skins and interestingly textured centers (they're like snot mom!) leave them sitting around.  I have scoured the internet for recipes and found pies, sauces etc and then proceeded to not make them.  I have always been home-canning-a-phobic due to my mother's irrational fear of botulism which was passed on to me--so imagine my excitement when I found out there was such a thing as Freezer Jam!  So this past Tuesday Night I proceeded to make my first ever Grape Jelly.  This is the recipe from the back of the Ball Freezer Pectin Packet so you can play along at home:
Concord Grape Freezer Jam
What You Need:
2 Bunches Concord Grapes (enough to yield 4 cups of grape juice)
1 Envelope Balls Freezer Pectin
1 1/2 cups of Sugar
5 (8 oz) freezer safe containers or canning jars
What You Do:
Wash and destem grapes
Place grapes in saucepan large enough to hold them and smash with potato masher to get as much juice as possible
Heat over medium heat to a low simmer and let cook for about 3 minutes
While the grapes are simmering, mix contents of pectin packet and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large bowl.
After the grapes have cooked, strain them through a sieve collecting only the juice in a second, large bowl. (you may need to press down on the skins and flesh in the sieve to get the maximum amount of juice.
Pour the juice into the bowl with the pectin and sugar mixture and stir for 3 minutes straight!
Ladle the mixture into 5 (8 oz) freezer safe containers or canning jars. 
Place lids on containers and allow to stand until thickened, about 30 minutes.
There's your jelly!  The jelly will last 3 weeks stored in your refrigerator or 1 year stored in your freezer.

This was fun and made me feel all country cooking queen for being able to finally make jelly.  If I ever get sunlight in my kitchen again (it's been raining for 2 days and is due to rain for 3 more) I will post a picture of the finished product on a PBJ sandwich!


  1. Hey there - your jam sounds great. Just curious - what coop are you a member of? Think that we're fairly close by and would love to buy some shares...

  2. ok - ignore that question- just read your other posts. I'm gonna hit up purple dragon asap. Cheers.

  3. Do call them. I have had a great experience!