How To Make Green Grape Jelly – Grapes are one of the most popular fruits, especially for children. Learn how to make your own grape juice from fresh grapes or grape juice.
Peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches are one of almost everyone’s childhood favorites, at least here in the US.
How To Make Green Grape Jelly
Grapes are delicious but short-lived and can be difficult to store at home (unless you make wine at home). Making grape sugar allows you to preserve all the grapes and make something that kids and adults alike will love!
Concord Grape Jelly With Maple Syrup
Although concord grape jelly is the most popular, any type of grape can be used to make grape jelly. Each has its own flavor and color, ranging from dark purple to red to white grape.
We grow a half dozen varieties of grapes here in our zone 4. Some are table grapes (eating grapes), but most are wine grapes because they are the only hardy ones that survive the cold weather in Vermont.
I have made grape sugar in all of them, as well as wild grape sugar, and I can tell you that they are both very tasty.
Sweet table grapes have a little taste, but a lot of sugar, which is good for fresh food. So, when you make grape juice you will add sugar, so it doesn’t matter if the grapes are fresh.
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Taste the grapes, and if you like their taste, they make a delicious grape sugar. Don’t let the tartness fool you, look beyond the sweetness and try to taste the grapes, think about the added sugar. Sometimes sour grapes are the best and produce a complex flavor.
If you want to make it easy for the kids to enjoy, go with fresh grapes (or bottled grape juice).
The first step in making grape sugar from fresh grapes is to press the grapes. If you already have grapefruit juice, go ahead and skip ahead.
I use a steam juicer to juice our grapes, and it can handle up to 10 pounds of fruit at a time. That way I can throw in the fruit and let it ripen while I’m still working in the garden.
Concord Grape Jelly Recipe
Using an outdoor stove means I can keep an eye on the pot while still enjoying the sun. It also means we don’t heat the house during the summer months.
If you don’t have steamed juice, you can pour grape jelly into the pot. Wash the grapes and put them in a pot with a little water (to prevent them from rotting).
A “portion” of grape sugar requires 4 cups of grape juice. You need about 3 1/2 pounds of grapes and 1/2 cup of water to make 4 cups of grape juice.
Turn on the heat and crush the grapes to help them release their juices. Grapes are usually juicy, so don’t overcook them before they fully ripen. It only takes you 10 minutes to turn off the heat.
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However, the pressure is too long. Grape juice should be soaked for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
You can use a jelly bag or a colander covered with cheesecloth. Wrapping the cheesecloth and hanging it over a bowl helps the juice evaporate faster.
In the picture below, I’m removing the juice from a green grape, and you’ll notice that it’s cloudy and gray. It is natural, it will be clarified with ordinary white grape sugar if you add pectin.
Pectin contains citric acid that helps activate the mixture, and the acid causes grape juice to become thinner. (You can also add some lemon juice to help.)
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At this point, you can measure the juice and start making sugar from the grapes, but I don’t recommend it.
Grapes often contain tartaric acid, which is fine when dissolved in grapes, but can form crystals when heated. These creams will separate from the juice during the jelly process, and are very sharp.
All types of grapes have different amounts, and some cannot form crystals. If you made grapefruit juice without forming crystals, you may have a variety that is low in tartaric acid.
The easiest way to remove it is to simply freeze the juice overnight before juicing. The glasses will cool on the outside of the refrigerator, and you can cool the juice slowly.
Homemade White Grape Jam
Pour the cooled grape juice over two layers of cheesecloth, or other woven fabric such as muslin, a clean piece of old shirt, or a towel. Most of the glass will sink to the bottom, so pour slowly so as not to disturb it.
Some grapes have more tartaric acid than others, wild grapes (right) usually have more. It is always a good idea to cool the grape juice before making the grape sugar, to allow the crystals to form from the mixture.
Once you have grape juice, whether fresh or store bought, you are ready to make grape sugar.
Start with the juice process. A “vatch” of grapes requires 4 cups of juice. This is because you will use more pectin to make the jelly, and each packet is good for about 4 cups of water.
How To Make Grape Jelly (with Pictures)
I tried to make grape jelly without adding pectin, and it was very difficult. Grapes don’t have enough natural pectin to settle, especially if you remove the skin. However, you can make jam from grapes and peel without adding pectin, but it is a completely different preserve.
If you want to try making grape jelly without pectin, I’ll walk you through that process in a moment.
Add 4 cups of broth and 1 packet of pectin powder to a Dutch oven or stock pot. Stir to dissolve the pectin and bring the mixture to a boil. Do not add sugar. Sugar should be added at the end if you are using a regular box, and grape sugar will not set if you add it at the beginning.
Make sure you use a large pot and fill it no more than halfway, because the mixture will expand to double in volume while cooking.
Grape Jelly Recipe
Allow the grape juice and pectin mixture to boil vigorously for 1 minute, then add the sugar.
The amount of sugar varies greatly from grape to grape test, but you need at least 4 cups. Standard packaged vegetable pectin (such as Sure-Jell) requires a 1:1 ratio of juice to sugar by volume to set properly. Some recipes use about 6 to 8 cups of sugar, which is great by modern standards.
Grape juice is very sweet. I suggest you use as little as possible, 4 cups if you don’t have sweet grapes.
Stir the sugar into the grape juice/pectin mixture and return the pot to a hard boil for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and pour the granulated sugar into the prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space.
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It takes 12 to 48 hours for the pectin to set, so be patient if it doesn’t set as soon as it cools. Give it time, and you’ll soon have beautiful vines.
For regular pectin, you should use a 1:1 ratio of juice to sugar. If you want to reduce the sugar further, switch to low sugar pectin.
I really like Sure-Jell Low Sugar Pectin, and you can follow this exact recipe with grape sugar, just add sugar. Anywhere from 1/2 cup to 4 cups of sugar will work well for low sugar pectin. Be aware that the price will be very low.
Pomona’s Universal Pectin is another low-sugar pectin option, but with completely different specifications. They use a liquid rich in calcium to make pectin (instead of sugar), which allows you to make grape sugar without adding sugar (or reducing sugar).
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In the past, I’ve used Pomona’s, but it dries like jello instead of making a smooth spreadable jelly. I don’t recommend it because it doesn’t give you the best, but it will work if that’s what you have. (Instructions are in the package.)
Liquid pectin requires more sugar to be added, and added to other foods. To make the grape sugar and liquid pectin, start by mixing the sugar and grape juice together and bringing it to a boil.
When the sugar and grape juice come to a boil, add one packet of liquid pectin. Allow the mixture to return to the heat for 1 minute and then remove from the heat.
Liquid pectin requires 7 cups of sugar to 4 cups of grape juice, which is about twice as much as you need for pectin powder.
Homemade Grape Jelly
As I mentioned, making grape sugar without pectin is very difficult. I like to make jams and jellies without pectin whenever possible, but I’ve never made grape jelly with pectin that really sets.
The best I’ve come up with is wild grapes, it’s thick somewhere between juice and jelly…but not yet “set.”
Some books suggest that you use about 1/3 of the pureed grapes
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