Sunday, 25 September 2011

Grape Jam/Jelly

A friend recently gave me a bagfull of small grapes, and I was going to make some chutney with them, but ended up with jam instead!  I winged it a bit as I couldn't really find a suitable recipe but it came out very nicely.  I only got a couple of jars from the amount of grapes I had, and I have to admit it is a bit fiddly, but if you fancy trying it - here is the recipe:

Approx. 1 kg. of small grapes
400 ml water
2-3 large apples - peeled, cored and quartered
1 lemon - juice only

1 cup of sugar per cup of fruit liquid

2 or 3  sterilised jars & lids - (To sterilise: place jars in oven at 190/200C for at least 15 mins. - remove carefully !)

1. Firstly I stripped the grapes from the stalks - though don't be too fussy about this as you will sieve it anyway.

2. Put the water and the grapes in a large saucepan, bring to the boil and boil gently for at least 20-25 mins.  Keep stirring and the pips should float to the top - which you can remove - (mostly).

3. Sieve the mixture and you should have about 800 ml. of liquid. - set aside.

4. I then cooked about 4 large apples with a little water - cooked until they were soft enough to puree.  I then added this to the liquid to give it some bulk and extra pectin.

5. Then - measure this out and use 1 cup of sugar per cup of fruit liquid.  Stir in well.
Add lemon juice.

6. Stirring frequently, bring this liquid to the boil and boil - (not too high a light) - until you have reached the setting stage.  Do be careful not to overboil this.  Because it is fairly liquid, you could burn the sugar - so do remember to stir a lot. 

I test my blobs on a cold tile, but unfortunately I do think it's experience that tells you when it's done .... (sorry Beginners).  When your blobs dont run too much when you tilt the tile (or plate), or push the jam with your finger and it crinkles slightly - it's usually ok.

Pour the slightly cooled jam into your cooled jars - almost to the top - and leave to cool completely.   I didn't put the lid on while the jam was hot, as I was a worried it would overcook the jam.
Label and lid.

The only other tip I have is not to overboil the jam and to keep stirring it so it doesn't burn.  I think it's better to underset it, than over-boil it and get a very stiff jam.

PS: I tasted it this morning and it was pretty good! :)

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