Thursday, August 04, 2011

Grape Jam . . .

When I was a young married woman with several babies and a husband attending Brigham Young University, my step-mother-in-law took me under her wings. Our young family was on a shoestring budget, and I wanted to learn how to make jam. One morning while visiting their home in California our young family got up early and with bowls in hand we trotted down the rode into a shady, wooded area at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains and picked blackberries. Big luscious overly-ripe blackberries. I may have taste-tested one or four hundred. Then we went back to the house and Jolene taught me how to make blackberry jam. It was heaven in a jar. Ever since I have loved the process of taking fruit and making it into a delicious spreadable concoction!

This week our grocery store had quite a deal -- 10 lbs. of grapes for $10. That's $1 a pound, which is a price I couldn't ignore. I'd never made grape jam before, but since that first experience I'm not at all shy about jamming anything fruity and edible. I thought I'd give it a go. Here's a glimpse to show you how to make ten 8 oz. jars of grape jam...


I started with some delicious red seedless grapes.

Then I gathered the following ingredients...

  • red seedless grapes -- pulse in food processor to make 6 cups
  • 7 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 box fruit pectin
  • 1 cup grape juice

Preparation of workspace and equipment

You'll need:
  • food processor or blender
  • one large pot
  • ten 8 oz. jelly or jam jars (found at grocery stores or big box stores -- rings and lids are included; also found at garage sales or thrift stores for a fraction of the cost)
  • lids (thin, flat round metal lids with a rubber gum binder that seals to the top of the jar -- must be new when using previously used jars)
  • bands (metal bands that secure the lid to the jar - can be reused many times)
  • large spoons and ladles
  • canning funnel (optional, but recommended)
  • canning lid lifter (optional, but recommended)
  • canner (huge pot to sanitize jars if using USDA water-bath canning method)

The process

This will be a simple picture tutorial. For more information follow the instructions included in the fruit pectin box that you purchase. It will give you step-by-step instructions on how to make a variety of jams.

Whether you are using new or used jars,
sanitize jars and bands by putting through dishwasher on the "high temp" or "sanitized" cycle.
When jars are close to being done, you can begin preparing the fruit.

Wash grapes, removing stems and pulse in a food processor.
(I didn't bother to remove the skins -- they literally disappeared in the process!) 

Measure sugar accurately into a separate bowl.

In small saucepan, cover lids with water. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
Let stand in hot water until ready to fill jars.
(Scroll down for photo.)

Mix the 6 cups of chopped grapes, pectin, juice and butter in a large pot...

Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring mix to a full rolling boil...
(When you cannot stop boiling by stirring the mixture, you have a full rolling boil.)

Continue stirring, add sugar all at once and bring to rolling boil again,
then continue stirring and boil one additional minute... 

Take pot off stove, let sit for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent floating fruit...

After 5 minutes most of the foam has dissipated. 
If necessary skim off the remaining foam...

Pour jam into sanitised, warm (or room temp) jars within 1/8 inch from top
using a canning funnel if you have one. 
Wipe rims and threads of jar with a clean damp cloth.

Use the canning lid lifter to bring lids out of hot water.
Place lid on jar and screw on ring. 

Invert jar. Repeat with remaining jars. Let jar stand 5 minutes,
 then turn jar upright. Cool. Check seals after one hour.
(May also use USDA water-bath method.)

Having never made grape jam I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I am definitely a believer now! It is scrumptious. The best part is {like all jams} grape jam is sooo easy to make!

Linked to:
Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors
20 Below Thursday @ Christina's Adventures


Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Looks delicious Suzanne!

Shannon said...

That looks really good and do-able. Maybe I'll try my hand at that some time soon...or maybe next year...

Mr. Smith said...

I remember getting pricked by all the thorns on the blackberry bushes...but glad that we got some jam out of it.

Jillian said...

yummy! Homemade jam is so summery!

Donna Heber said...

Hi Suzanne,

How delicious - fresh grape jam! You make it look so easy. If only I had the time. Enjoy -