Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Concord Grape Jam / Syrup Recipe

Let me start by saying I know nothing about making jam. It's obvious because if I did then this recipe would have set the way it was supposed to. I looked up several recipes for grape jam. Some of them said to separate the skins from the grapes and cook them separately. I don't really understand that because in the end, you're going to smush them all through a sieve anyway. I went with the idea that it should be equal parts grapes and sugar. Simple and old fashioned. I cooked the grapes with the skin on. Some recipes also called for pectin. I decided not to use it. My jam turned out to be a thick syrup. I think the problem was that I didn't boil it long enough.

I'm not experienced in jam making and I'm sure I broke all the jam making rules, but I had a great time with this and the end result was delicious! These concord grapes are in season right now so I had to do something with them. The syrup is sweet and sour. It would make a great spread in crepes, on toast, or even waffles! If you want to preserve this you could process the jars in a large pot of boiling water. We started eating ours the next day (you can give it away too!). I got 4 jars from this recipe in assorted sizes. I save jars from pickles and condiments and I sterilized them (after removing the labels).

We visited a farm over the weekend.
Here are the yummy grapes they had growing there.

You can see how grainy the sugar is.

Simmering away. It's clear now.
All the sugar has melted and the grapes are getting soft.

Straining the syrup.

Finished syrup.

concord grapes, removed from the stems and rinsed
white sugar
lemon rind

Take equal parts grapes and sugar (I used 5 cups of each) and put them in a pot. Use a vegetable peeler and slice of 2 pieces of lemon rind. Add it to the pot. Set the pot on the stove over medium high heat and stir it up. At first it will look strange but the sugar and grapes will soon start to melt together and it will become liquid. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. If you simmer it for 45-60 minutes I assume it might actually set into a jam.

Remove the lemon rind and strain the jam through sieve pushing it through with a spatula.

Transfer the hot syrup (carefully) to the sterilized jars and set aside overnight to cool completely. I covered them with a towel in case any fruit flies thought they might get a midnight snack. Put the lids on the next day and refrigerate. It will still thicken slightly once refrigerated.
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