If you've been following along on this blog you will know that I made grape jelly with Concord Grapes purchased for our local farmer's market. I was so happy to find a use for these delicious gifts of the gods. Of course, to make jelly, you need to extrude all the juice and leave the skins and seeds and even some of the pulp behind. Then you need to add SIX CUPS of sugar. My kids, husband and Mother in Law all loved the jelly and it came out very well, however, I thought it was too sweet for some reason. Plus, I don't know about you, but I haven't even bothered to try to look for a local source of sugar.
So, after I made jelly once and was satisfied that it could be done (and not just become a grape sauce) I purchased a type of pectin made by Ball which says it does not require the use of sugar. The end result is that I made 8 8 oz. jars of grape jam with only one cup of local honey, and it is still very, very good. And tastes more like grapes. Here's what I did.
1. First I weighed out four pounds of grapes--despite the fact that the recipe on the box said to use 3 pounds (these were from Harvest Valley Farms).
2. I then pinched each one to separate the inside and the skin. The skins went into the bowl for my food processor and the insides went into a large pot.
3. After the grapes were all separated, I chopped the skins in the food processor into small pieces and set them aside.
4. I mashed the insides slightly with a potato masher and cooked them with 1 cup of apple cider (from Kistaco Orchards at the East Liberty Farmer's Market Cooperative on Saturdays). I brought them to a boil and then simmered them for 10 minutes.
5. I then put the pulp through a food mill to separate out the seeds.
6. Then I combined the pulp with the skins in a large pot with the special pectin to heat it.
7. After that came to a rolling boil, I added the one cup of honey. I got mine at the East Liberty Farmer's Market from the "Fine Family Apiary" from Monogahela (724-258-3834). We got the dark fall honey which is very mild in taste.
8. After that returned to a rolling boil, I let it boil hard for three minutes.
9. After that, I ladled into sterilized jars, put on lids and processed in a hot water bath canner for 5 minutes.
My next trial will be to do it without pectin.