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Concord Grape Jelly

We took my son out over the weekend to shoot his bow, and my husband stumbled across a treasure trove of Concord grapes.   Luckily we had a little cooler, and he filled it up pretty quickly.

I spent a while picking through, taking out the leaves, sticks, and critters, and then scurried to find a recipe.     I ended up going with this one from Sure Jell/Kraft.    It calls for a LOT of sugar, but  a good portion of the grapes we picked seemed to be under ripe, so I wanted to make sure the resulting jelly was edible.

It was getting late, so I decided that I was going to get the grapes as far as juice, and then I'd complete the jam when I had some more time.      I added them to a large stockpot along with the water, mashing them with a potato masher.     It didn't take long for them to give up their juice, but I had no cheesecloth or jelly bag to strain them through.    I ended up using a very fine mesh colander, which worked, and is a total pain to clean.      I let the juice cool to room temp and then stored the whole pot in the fridge.

After a run to the store the next morning for pectin (which was not on the aisle with the jelly as the clerk suggested), I reheated the juice through and followed the recipe from there.  

* Exported from MasterCook *

                      SURE.JELL® Concord Grape Jelly

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
 3 1/2 lb. fully ripe Concord or other loose-skinned grapes) -- (need 5 cups or 1 1/4 qt. juice)
  1 1/2           cups  water
  1                box  SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin
     1/2          tsp.  butter or margarine (used butter)
  7               cups  sugar -- measured into separate bowl

Start by preparing necessary equipment.    Fill canning kettle 1/2 full of water, place on stove and bring it to a simmer.      Sterilize jars and bands  (I run them through the dishwasher and leave them inside on the heated setting).    Add a small amount of hot water to a bowl and add the lids.   Leave them in the water until needed.

Pick over grapes, removing stems, leaves, etc.   Place in a large saucepan, crushing them thoroughly.   Add water and bring to a boil.     Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.     Separate juice by using a jelly bag, cheesecloth or strainer,pressing gently.    Measure 5 cups (1 1/4qt) of juice into a large stockpot.

Add pectin and stir.   If desired, add a teaspoon of butter to keep the foaming down.    On high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil.     Stir in the sugar and return to a full boil.   Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.    Take off the heat, and with a metal spoon, skim off foam.

Immediately ladle into jars, using funnel if desired.   Fill to 1/4" of the top.    Wipe the rims and threads well.    Cover with the flat lid and place the screw band on, turning until tight.   Using tongs, place into the canner.   If using a rack, elevate the rack, load it up and then lower it carefully into the water).    Make sure the tops of the jars are covered by at least 1 to 2".     Cover and bring the water to a gentle boil.    Process jars for 5 minutes.    Remove jars with tongs and place upright on a dish towel to cool.    Pinging and popping is normal.     Once jars are totally cool, press on the center of the lid with your finger, if it bounces, then the seal is not good and you must refrigerate or freeze that jar.


  "8 (1-cup) jars"


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