Home-canning this grape jam recipe is easy. Many people love grape jelly, and I do too!
Jelly is made from the juice of the fruit, usually resulting in a fairly clear sweet spread. Jam, however, is made from crushed fruit. Hence, this is grape jam, NOT jelly. :) If you are looking to win at the county fair, search for a clear jelly. If you want goodness for your PBJ's, go for either one of these jams.
I have two grape jam recipes on this page. The first one is a low sugar grape jam, the one below that is regular sugar grape jam. Instructions are included with each. They are very similar however… the low sugar version uses a commercial pectin.
The gel of homemade jams and jellies depends on the combination of pectin in your fruit combined with the amount of sugar, and sometimes an acid in the form of lemon juice. If you try to reduce the sugar in a traditional full sugar grape jam recipe (like the one at the bottom of this page) it may affect the jel of your product. The sugar is also a preservative so it may affect the shelf life of your product both on the shelf and in the fridge after you open the jar. So… in order to do a low sugar grape jam I chose to use a low sugar pectin so I know I would get a nice gel.
Before we get to the recipes I want to talk to you about what to do to prepare your grapes. And this is for either low sugar or full sugar.
First the skins....
The first thing you are supposed to do is peel your grapes. Well, that didn’t sound like a fun task at all! I have tiny little grapes that grow on my grape vines. After you peel the grapes, it is optional to take those skins, chop them and then add them back to the grape pulp. So…. I had high hopes to just skip the skinning part. I'd just leave the skins on and mash them right in with the pulp.
Next the seeds....
However, To make grape jam you also need to remove the seeds. I have seedless grapes so I also had high hopes that I’d be able to skip this step too. Well... NO, apparently even seedless grapes have seeds. They are just much much smaller. I tried leaving them in but when I started mashing them those pesky tiny seeds revealed themselves and I realized it was not going to work it would be unappealing in the jam, so I took them out.
I took my grapes in a pot and smashed it with a potato masher added a cup of water to keep them from sticking and heated it up. That is when I spotted the seeds that I was hoping would make no difference. (Sigh) So my final step was….. running the pulp through this food mill which removed both the seeds, and the skin.
If you want to, you can skin your grapes, then run them through the mill to get the seeds out and then add the skins back into the pulp. I’m not even considering trying to put that skin back with the pulp! Nope nope nope. Plain grape pulp it is and it worked fine.
So now I have my prepared grape pulp. And I can go on with my recipe.
Low sugar grape jam. These directions come from the Ball Pectin Calculator. if you have not seen this page yet you should check it out.
First gather your canning supplies.
Ingredients for 2 half pint jars. (double or triple recipe according to how many jars you want to make)
Combine the pulp, fruit juice or water, and pectin in a large sauce pot. Bring to a full rolling boil. add in the sugar, stir and bring back to a boil. Boil hard for 1 minute.
Turn off the heat and fill hot jars leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims of your jars clean and place the lids and bands on the jar finger tight. The jars are now ready to go in the canner.
If you are not familiar with how to fill your jars and process in a waterbath canner, be sure and check this page. Waterbath Canning You'll find specific step by step instruction on how the canner works and filling your jars.
Process in a waterbath canner for 10 minutes. Be sure and adjust this time for your altitude.
Gather Your Canning Supplies for the Grape Jam Recipe:
Ingredients for Grape Jam:
preparing jars and getting water in your canner
heating. (See Water
for full directions.)
Combine the pulp you have prepared with 6 cups sugar. Bring to a boil
Boil rapidly. As jam thickens skim off the foam if necessary. Bring this to your gelling point. This will be 8 degrees above your boiling point. Use a candy thermometer is the easiest way to measure.
If you don't know your gelling point. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Measure the temperature. Then add 8 degrees, this is your gelling point.
You can also use a cold spoon to scoop a bit of jelly out of the pot. The cold spoon will cool the jam quickly. Tip the spoon to the side and watch as the jam runs off. Is it still drippy? YOu'll need to boil a little longer. Does it 'sheet' off or slide off? It should jel.
Honestly, the thermometer is so much easier!
Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims and place two-piece canning lids. Pack and process according to water bath canning instructions. (Don't forget to adjust for altitude.)
Processing time for 1/2 pints or pints, no quarts:
If you happen to have a grape jam recipe batch that turns out runny (it happens), just call it syrup. Then add it to your pinto beans.