9.10.2012

How to Juice Grapes for Jelly


I help out a little at Hawkin's Family Farm.  I put my horticulture knowledge to work at their CSA in exchange for some chemical free fruits and veggies.  This September I asked if I could pick some of their lovely grapes.  



I used my trusty pair of Felco pruners to cut some clusters of grapes off the vine.  


I filled two ice-cream buckets full (6 pounds give or take) which some how gave me the exact amount of juice for two batches of jelly.  


Aren't they lovely?  

Here's how I got the juice out:

First I soaked all the grapes in my sink in enough water that they were submerged.  All the little bugs living in there had to come up for air and I used a strainer to skim them off and dump them outside.  I also removed any leaves and twigs as well as any grapes that had fungus or disease.  It was a dry summer so they were pretty darn clean.  


I don't have a very big pot, so I did two batches in my 8-quart pan.  I threw the cleaned grapes, stems and all, in with 1.5 cups of water.  I don't bother to crush the grapes.  The boiling will release their juices.  Above you can see on the left that's how the grapes started out and then on the right is after 20 minutes simmering covered.  

Next, I poured everything from the pot into a strainer over a big bowl.  The juice drains through leaving the skin, stems and such behind.  I poured off the first round of juice.  Then I left the boiled grapes to sit over night and let the remaining juice drip out.  I never squeeze or press that just makes for cloudy juice which yields cloudy jelly.  The grapes did turn the bottom of my colander blue.  I hope that will wear off eventually...


I've also used a strainer over a measuring cup.


I've heard of folks straining out juice through cheese cloth.  My mom used to put them in a pillowcase and hang them from a branch in the back yard for the afternoon.   

Then I used the recipe in the Sure-Jell box to make grape jelly.  Here's the link in case you're interested.  I just realized that Sure-Jell is a Kraft company.  *Sigh*, I prefer not to buy from Kraft.  Guess I'll have to get my pectin from some other source next time.  

I made two batches of jelly one with traditional pectin and one with low sugar pectin. Check out this post to see how it went: Side by Side Comparison of Traditional and Low Sugar Pectin Recipe for Grape Jelly

My family makes jelly from wild grapes too.  If you're interested here's that link: Making Wild Grape Jelly.  

Do you have any tips for juicing grapes for jelly?

25 comments:

  1. I bet that taste amazing!
    I refuse to buy from Kraft as well, if I'm aware that I'm supporting Kraft, I grew up hating the name... not what you're thinking probably. It's hard to support the owner of your most hated football team! :P

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  2. How yummy! A coworker just gave me some lovely fresh grapes from her backyard. Not enough to make jelly out of, but oh so delicious to eat!

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    1. I'd love to have my own grapes with enough to eat and make jelly too! They are such a treat.

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  3. We did grape jelly last year and it was wonderful. The juicing was a pain though. On the other hand, last fall we went to a local winery grape stomp contest, which was loads of fun.

    Yael from Home Garden Diggers

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    1. I wonder how that works. You'd think stomping would make for cloudy juice. Perhaps they strain it afterwards?

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  4. I had never heard of a steamer juicer until I moved here. Now I have two! We are making gallons of plum, apple and pear juice this week.
    http://www.amazon.com/Back-Basics-A12-Aluminum-Juicer/dp/B0007VW61S
    I toss in the fruit and it does all the rest leaving me with perfectly clear yummy juice!

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    1. I'd never heard of a steamer juicer either! Interesting. Where is it you moved that it's a common kitchen implement?

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  5. Stopping by from the Living Green Link up. Pinning this for future use, thanks for sharing New follower, would love to have your posts come straight to my email, but not seeing a button.

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    1. I think I could figure out how to do a subscribe button for my blog. It's good to know someone is interested.

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  6. Hi!

    Thank you for this technique. Every so often I crave grape. But I'm the only one in the family that likes it.
    This looks like just enough.


    I'm interested to know why you don't buy from Kraft.

    I just don't like most of their products.

    Have a Joyful Day :~D
    Charlie

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  7. For some reason it never occurred to me that I could make homemade grape jelly. Bet my husband would love that! I'm still trying to get up the nerve to make my first batch of strawberry jam.

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    1. Strawberry jam is an excellent place to start. Once the home food preservation bug has bitten though, watch out! I've tried lots of things that fail. For instance I threw my first attempt at sauerkraut to the pigs after I saw fruit fly larva growing around the ring!

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  8. We make a lot of Jelly and Jam every Spring and Summer, and we love using the fresh juice from the fresh fruit. Great idea's. Hope you have a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing on Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  9. Anonymous9/15/2012

    If you don't want to use commercial pectin, grow some red currants. I haven't used commercial pectin in years. The fruit is VERY high in pectin, & the flavor is so mild that it is overpowered by anything with which it is combined, like raspberries, blueberries, grapes, strawberries, etc. I simply substitute one cup of red currant juice for one cup of prepared fruit/ fruit juice, and use equal amounts of juice & sugar. Bring to a boil, cook until it "sheets", and it sets up every time. I used to freeze the currant juice in 8 oz yogurt containers, but now that they have gone to 6 oz containers, I use the ball freezer containers instead. Having one cup frozen means I can just add the giant ice cube to the fruit juice as I heat it. Crabapples & apples are also high in pectin, but the currant juice is so easy, that it is what I usually use.- Marivene

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  10. Goodness that looks yummy!! We used to grow grapes on our old property, but they didn't make it when we tried to transfer them here. Very useful info though! Thanks for linking up to Snacktime Saturday!

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  11. Your Grape Jelly looks amazing. It would be so lovely made from such fresh grapes, and so truly from scratch! Thank you for sharing this excellent tutorial with us at Hearth and Soul.

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  12. I had a bunch of green grapes and they were tiny with 2 seeds each! I'm sure this would work for those too.

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    1. How come you don't see green grape jelly? Or have I just never seen it. I bet it is really pretty spread on bread.

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  13. Wow...that doesn't sound hard at all! I'm definitely going to have to try that! :)

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  14. Me oh my!
    Home made grapejuice!!!
    I wish I could stop by....

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  15. When I saw Hawkins Family Farm I knew you were in my neck of the woods! I used to have one of their photos for my desktop wallpaper! Grapes are great around here as is most everything else. But we are moving to Indy:( Goodbye to the clop clop of horses hooves on the roadways.

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    1. I wish you guys were staying near by. I need more garden friends!

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  16. Thanks for stopping by and linking up to Snacktime Saturday. Great tutorial, thanks for sharing. Looks yummy :)

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  17. thanks for sharing.

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