Preserving/Canning

Making Grape Juice – Making Grape Jelly

grapes

It always makes me feel good to help a friend-but especially when the reward is fresh…grapes-straight off the vine. I usually make grape jelly each summer with the wild Fox Grapes that grow along the creek that runs through our mountain holler, but I’d never thought about making grape juice until I tasted Miss Cindy’s.

washing grapes

The process is sooo easy. First wash your grapes and pull them from the vine.

grapes in water

Place the grapes in a large stock pot and fill with water-put enough water to just cover the grapes. Almost every recipe I’ve seen for grape jelly or juice says to crush the grapes before the cooking process-we’ve always crushed the grapes after they’re cooked-once they’re soft the crushing seems easier.

After the grapes have simmered for 15 to 20 minutes they will begin to crack open-then they are done.

crushing grapes

Next you need to crush the grapes-and get the skins and seeds separated from the juice. In the past I’ve used a food meal-pouring a portion of the grapes through at a time-catching the juice as it comes out the bottom. I’ve also used a hand held potato masher and then used cheesecloth to strain the seeds and skin out. This year I used Miss Cindy’s method-I used my submersible hand held mixer to chop up the rest of the grapes.

Next I poured the mashed grapes in a small holed strainer to separate the juice from the skins and seeds.

And there you have it-fresh grape juice. Depending on how sweet your grapes are or how sweet you like your juice you may need to add sugar to taste. When I made juice using the wild Fox Grapes it was so tart you could barley swallow it-but with the Concord Grapes I got from my friend it was much sweeter.

If you make too much to drink in the next few days-it freezes very well. Miss Cindy saves large plastic juice containers to freeze hers in. I’m sure you could can it as well.

At this point-you can also make jelly out of the fresh juice-I did. I used sure jell-just follow the easy directions they provide for grape jelly and you can end up with sweet grape jelly!

Tipper

 

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Magdalene Mwangi
    June 30, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Yummy, recipe noted, thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    Serviced Apartments London Lady
    February 24, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Such a fun process, thanks for sharing this with us!

  • Reply
    Tipper
    August 15, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Pat-good to hear from you! I’ve never made a cobbler with grapes-but sounds like it’d be good : ) If you make one let us know how it turns out!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    pat johnson
    August 12, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    I have tons of possum grapes in my back yard; will make jelly but is it possible to make a cobbler out of them? [email protected]

  • Reply
    louise
    August 27, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Who knew it was so easy?! And how pretty lined up in the jars.

  • Reply
    Amy - parkcitygirl
    August 24, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Yum! Sounds easy enough too 🙂

  • Reply
    Michelle
    August 23, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    That brings back some nice memories. My grandmother use to make grape jelly from grapes in her garden. 🙂

  • Reply
    Tipper
    August 23, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    David-the grapes are all concords. But I have some Fox Grape photos coming up. Thank you for the kind words-makes my day.
    Blind Pig & The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    brit
    August 23, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    wow. I’ve always shied away from grape jelly because folks always complain about how hard it is with the straining and so forth..but this seems pretty straightforward.
    Now I need to get some grapes…

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    August 23, 2009 at 11:56 am

    When I was a kid in East Tennessee we picked what we called Possum grapes. They were much smaller than domesticated Concord grapes, maybe, oh … maybe the size of a good sized pea.
    In your beautiful pictures, are all the grapes in your illustrations Concord grapes or are any of those pictured Fox grapes?
    Our piano teacher has a large grape arbor and, thanks to her generosity, we get plenty of grapes. We’ll make jelly and also make some juice.
    Your many recent articles and instructions on food preservation have been wonderful! And, a joy to look at, also.
    Thank you for a continuous production of delightful articles.
    Best website going!

  • Reply
    Janet
    August 22, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Yep, Tipper it looks just like my counter top! I was trying to decide whether to make a concord grape pie or an apple cobbler a while ago, and my son said apple cobbler, so I guess the pie will have to be for another day.

  • Reply
    Kelli
    August 22, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Those are gorgeous grapes. They look flawless. I bet the jelly is so yummy. I like a tart jelly.

  • Reply
    Farmchick
    August 22, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Those grapes look excellent as does that fresh grape juice. I love it!

  • Reply
    osagebluffquilter
    August 22, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Wow that looks good. Years ago we made grape juice with BT’s mother, she put the whole grapes, along with sugar and water in the jar. We then gave them a water bath. As I rememeber it her juice wasn’t near as dark. Probably not as good as your either.
    Thank you for the Walmart gift card from the Blind pig and acorn.
    Patti

  • Reply
    Rick
    August 22, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    I love the smell when they are cooking.

  • Reply
    Becky
    August 22, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    That’s the second time this week I’ve seen jelly made from fresh grapes. I’ve not tasted fresh grape jelly. Now you’ve got my taste buds going again.
    Guess it’s that time of year.

  • Reply
    threecollie
    August 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    I am hoping we get enough grapes for jelly this year. Last year’s was amazing.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    August 22, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Yum!!

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson
    August 22, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    You make me hungry and happy with such images and descriptions.

  • Reply
    Brenda S 'Okie in Colorado'
    August 22, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Oh how I wish I lived in your Mountain Holler. Your jelly is beautiful. My Granny used to make possum grape, wild blackberry and sand plum jellies. While I was reading your post today, I could smell my Granny’s kitchen.

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    August 22, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Truly wish I could have followed along for such wholesomeness, Tipper! Thank you for having gone through the trouble to share!
    Hope you and your family are having a wonderful weekend! :))

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 22, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Hey Tipper, I’m working on grapes today. I have some more of those wonderful Concord Grapes from my friend Saleh. Part of the grapes will be jelly and the remainder will be juice.
    I’m Canning the juice in quart jars. We’ll see how that works out.
    I’m also working on tomatoes and apples. It’s that time of year…busy!

  • Reply
    twosquaremeals
    August 22, 2009 at 10:39 am

    My Grandma had a grape vine when I was growing up, and we always had homemade grape juice. I remember once we left some in the back of the fridge too long. I pulled it out and opened it to a very fermented “juice.” My parents didn’t keep wine in the house, so when I screwed up my nose and asked what was wrong with the juice, they just laughed.

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