Sunday, February 5, 2012

Make Grape Jelly From Juice

Making and canning your own grape jelly from grape juice (either bottled, frozen or fresh) is also quite easy. Here's how to do it, in a few easy steps and completely illustrated. You can use bottled white grape juice, red, Concord or any other variety; or even frozen juice concentrate. You can make the jelly sugarless, or add sugar, honey or even Splenda, depending upon your own needs and tastes. The yield from this recipe is about 12 eight-ounce jars. 
You will need:

Grape juice - 6 cups bottled, without sugar added or reconstituted from frozen, without sugar.

Pectin - 2 boxes: You'll get best results with no-sugar needed pectin, whether you choose to add sugar or not!

Sugar - About 4.5 cups of dry, granulated sugar.
Check the directions with the pectin; typically, it is 7 cups of sugar to 5 or 6 cups of grape juice and one box of pectin; but I add about another 1/2 box of pectin to get a firmer set. The precise measurements are found in each and every box of pectin sold. Mix the dry pectin with about 1/4 cup of sugar and Keep this separate from the rest of the sugar. If you are not using sugar, you'll just have to stir more vigorously to prevent the pectin from clumping.
Stir the pectin into the grape juice and put the mix in a big pot on the stove over medium to high heat (stir often enough to prevent burning). It should take about 5 to 10 minutes to get it to a full boil (the kind that can not be stirred away).
When the grape-pectin mix has reached a full boil, add the rest of the sugar (for regular pectin; about 6 and 3/4 cups of sugar per 6 cup batch of grape juice; or 4 cups of sugar if you are using the low or no-sugar pectin) and then bring it back to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute.

Testing for "jell" (thickness)

I keep a metal tablespoon sitting in a glass of ice water, then take a half spoonful of the mix and let it cool to room temperature on the spoon. If it thickens up to the consistency I like, then I know the jelly is ready. If not, I mix in a little more pectin (about 1/4 to 1/2 of another package) and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute.

Fill the jars and put the lid and rings on. Fill them to within ¼-inch of the top, wipe any spilled jelly off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Then put them into the boiling water canner. Keep the jars covered with at least 2 inches of water. Keep the water boiling. In general, boil them for 5 minutes.

Lift the jars out of the water with your jar lifter tongs and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight) You can then remove the rings if you like. Once cooled, they're ready to store, they are best used within 6 months.

Happy February!!

Have a wonderful week everyone....will be working on lots of new articles for your enjoyment this month!