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black grapes

I’ve posted many times about my love of using up free or foraged fruit and vegetables to make delicious preserves.  These grapes are from Julie’s garden (she of the fabulous figs) and are a very black, classic, older style grape, equally full of seeds and flavour!

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I had originally planned to make grape jelly, hence the recipes below, but after a rather botched attempt at straining the juice from the grapes, my usual dislike of waste kicked in and I decided to put the fruit through a food mill instead (as I did here) and hang onto all that delicious grape puree.

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The result was about six jars of wonderful smooth jelly jam (which might not really be a thing, but I like it!) with only skins and seeds left over.  As I mention below I used  about 2kg of grapes to get just under 1.5kg of puree, but the quantities don’t really matter as long as you weigh the puree and add 3/4 of its weight in sugar.

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Black grape jelly jam

Inspired by recipes for grape jelly on the Cuisine magazine and Cottage Smallholder blog sites

  • 2kg seedy black grapes (to give about 1450g grape puree)
  • 3/4 of the puree’s weight in sugar (I used 1100g sugar)
  • juice of 1 lemon

Sterilise jars as described here, and put a teaspoon on a saucer in the freezer.

Wash grapes and remove from stems.  Put in a large saucepan with just enough water to cover the bottom.  Heat gently, mashing often with a potato masher until juice is released, then increase heat slightly and cook for about 30 min until grapes are completely broken down.

Remove from heat and pass the grapes through a food mill.  Weigh the puree, and return to the saucepan with 3/4 of its weight in sugar and the juice of one lemon.  You should just barely be able to taste the lemon, so add more juice if you are using more grapes.

Cook the puree, stirring often, for about 20 min until thickened and dropping heavily from the spoon.   When you think it might be nearly ready, pour a small amount in the chilled spoon and put back in the freezer on the saucer for a couple of minutes.  You may need to test a few times.  When the cooled liquid turns jellyish, it’s done.

Pour the jelly jam into the sterilised jars, seal and cool.

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