Concord Grapes are the best grape for jelly and other preserves. Make your jelly as soon as possible after the grapes are harvested or brought home from the market. Weigh the grapes on the stems and for every pound of grapes thus weighed allow three-quarters of a pound of granulated sugar.
After weighing the grapes, place them in a big tub or receptacle of some kind nearly filled with cold water. Let them remain ten minutes, then lift them out with both hands and put them in a preserving kettle over very low fire/heat. Do not add any water. With a masher press the grapes so the juice comes out, and cook the grapes until they are rather soft, pressing them frequently with the masher.
When they have cooked until the skins are all broken, pour them, juice and all; in a small-holed colander set in a big bowl, and press pulp and juice through, picking out the stems as they surface.
When pulp and juice are pressed out, pour them into a jelly bag or cheese-cloth bag. Hang the bag over the preserving kettle and let the juice drip all night. In the morning put the kettle over the fire again and let the grape juice boil gently for a half hour, skimming it frequently.
While the juice is cooking put the sugar in pans in a moderate oven and let heat. As soon as the juice is skimmed clear, stir in the hot sugar, and as soon as it is dissolved pour the jelly in the glasses, first standing them in warm water. Place glasses after filling them in a cool dry place till jelly reaches it's setting point, then pour a film of melted paraffin or beeswax over the top and put on the covers.
Setting point is reached when the boiling liquid begins to clot. There are various ways to check for setting.
1.} Dip a long wooden spoon into the pan and hold it up so you can see the liquid run off. If it starts to form flakes as it drops, setting point has been reached.
2.}Pour a spoonful of the hot mass on to a plate and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. Push the edges of the jam with your index finger, it is set when it all wrinkly and crinkly. Always test for setting point at the time the recipe suggests, if not set continue to cook checking every 5 minutes. Don't overcook.
Homemade Grape Jelly From Juice
3 cups bottled grape juice
1 pkg. powdered Fruit Jell Pectin
4 cups sugar
Combine grape juice and pectin in a large saucepot. Bring mixture to a rolling boil.
Stir in sugar and return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Pour into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
Adjust caps. Process 5 minutes in boiling water bath. Makes 5 pints.
Grape Plum Jelly
3 pounds ripe Concord grapes
3-1/2 pounds ripe plums
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine (optional to reduce foaming)
8-1/2 cups sugar
1 box (1-3/4 ounces) powdered pectin
Wash and pit plums, but do not peel them. Thoroughly crush the plums and grapes, one layer at a time, in a large saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Strain the juice through a jelly bag or double layer of cheesecloth. Measure sugar and set aside. Combine 6-1/2 cups of juice with pectin in a large saucepan. Add butter if desired. Bring to a hard boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add the sugar and return to a full, rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim off foam and quickly pour into sterilized half-pint jars. Leave 1/4-inch head-space. Adjust lids, and process the jars in boiling water bath using manufacturers instructions for your region.
Yield: About 10 half-pints
6 cups (4 lb.) fully ripe Concord grapes
1 cup water
1 box fruit pectin (such as Sure-Jell)
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine (optional)
7-1/2 cups granulated sugar, measured into separate bowl
Bring boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.
Remove skins from grapes. Finely chop or grind skins; set aside. Mix grape pulp and water in saucepan. Bring to boil; cover and simmer 5 minutes. Press through sieve to remove seeds. Combine skins and pulp. Measure exactly 6 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-quart sauce pot.
Stir in pectin. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
Makes 10 (1-cup) jars.