Concord Grape Jam

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Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

There are a few failproof signs of fall for me. Catching a whiff of wild Concord grapes on a cool day in September is one of them.

The heady, slightly musky smell is a sure sign that the weather is well on its way to turning colder.

(Do you have grapes growing out back in your yard? Then you know just the intoxicating fragrance I’m talking about.)

I was delighted to find them when we were out and about this weekend. I grabbed a few boxes, and practically skipped home to make some jam.

Facts about Concord grapes

Concord grapes are the very same little purple wonders that give Welch’s grape juice its signature flavor.

Concord grapes come from (you guessed it) Concord, a now-sleepy little Massachusetts town that was a hotbed of activity during the Revolutionary war.

Concord was home to writers and thinkers like Thoreau and Emerson. And it’s also not that far from where we live in Salem.

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

They were first planted by Ephraim Wales Bull in 1854. His grapes were hardy, and survived in Concord, where other European varieties did not.

Nowadays, Concord grapes also grow in the wild all over many parts of the Northeast.

And when summer turns to fall, you can find them in stores and farmers’ markets if you’re lucky.

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

A few facts about Concord grapes:

  • Concord grapes are a dark purplish black, and are often covered in a light layer of harmless white bloom.
  • They’re usually less sweet than traditional grapes.
  • Concord grapes are also a “slip-skin” variety of grape (as opposed to “fixed-skin”), which means that they pop right out of their jackets when you give them a little squeeze.
  • They’re generally used for juice and jam or jelly, not for eating out of hand because they have big seeds.
  • Folks also put them into pies and tarts, like this.

Notes on timing, pectin, and canning

The timing on this recipe is imprecise at best, and will depend on your particular batch of grapes, specifically on how much pectin they had.

Fruit loses pectin as it ripens. (And pectin is the stuff that thickens jam.)

Concord grapes don’t have a ton of pectin, and each batch will be slightly different. For that reason, this recipe also relies on reducing the jam to thicken it.

The bottom line?

Cook the jam for 20 minutes as I indicate, then check it and cook it a little longer if it’s not done. Keep reading, I’ve included just what you need to look for.

Also, this recipe makes about 4 pints, which is a relatively small amount of jam.

I just keep it fresh in the fridge, where it will be happy for weeks—if it lasts that long.

For instructions on how to properly can jams and jellies, take a peek at these instructions from the good folks over at Ball.

Concord Grape Jam

3 lbs. concord grapes
3 cups sugar
2 Tbls. lemon juice

Yields about 4 pints

Skin the grapes

This is a pain to do, but it goes faster than you think it will. It’s also kind of gross, but kind of fun.

If you have kids in the kitchen, they’ll make perfect little helpers.

Grab a grape. Remove the stem. Give it a gentle squeeze between your thumb and first two fingers. The skin will split, and the meat of the grape will pop right out.
Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Do this over a bowl, so you can catch the juice that the grapes give off.

There’ll be a fair amount of it and you’ll want to toss that into the jam pot with the fruit.

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Keep the grapes in a bowl…

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

…and set the skins aside in another (or just heap them in a pile, like I did).

Repeat until you’ve skinned all your grapes.

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Puree the grape skins

Once all your grapes are peeled, put the skins in the food processor.

(I’m reasonably sure a good blender would work for this, but haven’t tested it.)

Toss in 1 cup of the sugar.

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Process them on high for a minute or two.

The skins will combine with the sugar and completely liquify. This is fun and feels like magic. (Hey, it’s the little things!) It happens almost instantly, and is delightfully shocking to see.

Be careful from this point on. This stuff stains like mad.

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

The mixture will be thick, like this, and flecked with bits of grape skin. That’s just fine.

You’re going to strain the mixture eventually. (Give it a taste. It’s heavenly already.)

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Cook the Concord grape jam

Put the pureed skins in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot.

Add the peeled grapes.

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Add the lemon juice, as well.

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

And the remaining 2 cups of sugar.

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Stir the whole mess up to combine it well.

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Set the pot on the stove over high heat and bring it to a boil. Stir occasionally.

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Once it boils, drop the heat low enough so that the jam maintains a simmer—but doesn’t rapidly boil.

Cook like this for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Keep an eye on the heat. If the jam feels like it’s sticking to the bottom of the pot when you stir, lower your heat a little.

(If you keep the heat too high, it will scorch and your jam will have a burnt taste.)

After 20 minutes, your jam will have thickened and reduced, and should look about like this:

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Strain the jam

Before you start, grab a plate and put it in the freezer. You’ll need it to test the jam in a few minutes.

Set a large, heatproof bowl on the counter. Fit a strainer on top.

Pour the jam through the strainer, into the bowl.

Be very careful when you do this. It may be delicious, but boiling hot jam is like napalm.

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

With a spatula, push the jam through the strainer.

Keep smooshing it until most of the jam is in the bowl, and you’re left with a lump of seedy pulp in the strainer, like this:

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

How to test the jam for doneness

This is the part where the recipe gets a little imprecise.

Now, at this point, your jam should be pretty thick. But the question is: Is it thick enough? Let’s find out.

(A note for my buddy Jeff over at A Dork and His Pork: Yes, I switched spatulas at this point.)

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Grab that plate that you just stashed in your freezer a few minutes ago.

It should be very cold to the touch. If it’s not, stick it back in until it is.

When your plate is cold, drop a spoonful of hot jam on it in a little puddle.

Pop the plate back into the freezer for 1 minute. (Yep, just one minute will do the trick.)

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

After 1 minute, yank the plate out.

Tip the plate on its side. The jam should stay where it is in a blob, not run down the plate.

Next, scoot the jam a little with a finger. The jam should have a skin that wrinkles up, like this:

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

If your jam passes both these tests, it’s done!

If it’s still too thin, take the strained jam and simmer it for another few minutes. Then test it again.

Repeat until it’s thick enough.

Jar, serve, and enjoy!

Ladle your warm jam into clean, sterilized jars.

Let them cool to room temperature, then cover them and pop them in the fridge.

Concord Grape Jam at The Hungry Mouse

Enjoy!

DSCN1382

Peek into a readers’ kitchens as they make this jam

UpdateOctober 13, 2009—A special thanks to Sheldon, who made a huge batch of this jam from Concord grapes in his own yard.

He was kind enough to send me the video he and his son made.

Here’s what he wrote:

“This is a video my son helped me make – turning 12 pounds of the Valiant strain of Concord Grapes into jars of jam. I found that every pound of grapes took one cup of sugar (and a bit of lemon juice) yielding one 250 ml jar of jam. It wasn’t too sweet…in fact just a bit tart, but really is one of the best jams or jellies I’ve ever made.

A very special thank you to Jessie at the Hungry Mouse for her wonderful, easy to follow and well illustrated recipe. Here is a link to that page, which I had opened the entire time I was making the jam.”

And here’s his video.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udJHb__ZL5U[/youtube]

Oh, he also canned it in a traditional water bath.

Some of you have asked how that works out, and it looks like it’s just fine! He didn’t add any additional ingredients (no Certo or Surejell).

UpdateOctober 14, 2009—Thanks also to Charlene from crazedparent, who shared this picture of her jam-making adventure.

Concord Grape Jam by crazedparent

UpdateOctober 20, 2009—And thanks to Jeff from A Dork and His Pork (seriously, one of my favorite food blogs, ever) for his picture of jam from this recipe.

That’s his homemade bread, too.

Concord Grape Jam by Jeff at A Dork and His Pork

Concord Grape Jam

Yields About 4 pints

Here's how to make easy homemade Concord grape jam.

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Ingredients

3 lbs. concord grapes
3 cups sugar
2 Tbls. lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Start by skinning the grapes. Grab a grape. Remove the stem. Give it a gentle squeeze between your thumb and first two fingers. The skin will split, and the meat of the grape will pop right out. (Do this over a bowl, so you can catch the juice that the grapes give off. There’ll be a fair amount of it and you’ll want to toss that into the jam pot with the fruit.)
  2. Keep the grapes in one bowl, and the skins in another bowl.
  3. Repeat until you’ve skinned all your grapes.
  4. Once all your grapes are peeled, put the skins in the food processor. Toss in 1 cup of the sugar.
  5. Process them on high for a minute or two. The skins will combine with the sugar and completely liquify.
  6. Put the pureed skins in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the peeled grapes, lemon juice, and remaining 2 cups of sugar.
  7. Stir the whole mess up to combine it well.
  8. Set the pot on the stove over high heat and bring it to a boil. Stir occasionally.
  9. Once it boils, drop the heat low enough so that the jam maintains a simmer—but doesn’t rapidly boil.
  10. Cook like this for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Keep an eye on the heat. If the jam feels like it’s sticking to the bottom of the pot when you stir, lower your heat a little. (If you keep the heat too high, it will scorch and your jam will have a burnt taste.) After 20 minutes, your jam will have thickened and reduced.
  11. Set a large, heatproof bowl on the counter. Fit a strainer on top. Pour the jam through the strainer, into the bowl.
  12. With a spatula, push the jam through the strainer. Keep smooshing it until most of the jam is in the bowl, and you’re left with a lump of seedy pulp in the strainer.
  13. Now, at this point, your jam should be pretty thick. But the question is: Is it thick enough? Let’s find out. Put a small plate in the freezer for a few minutes until it's cold. When your plate is cold, drop a spoonful of hot jam on it in a little puddle. Pop the plate back into the freezer for 1 minute. (Yep, just one minute will do the trick.) After 1 minute, yank the plate out. Tip the plate on its side. The jam should stay where it is in a blob, not run down the plate. Next, scoot the jam a little with a finger. The jam should have a skin that wrinkles up.
  14. If your jam passes both these tests, it’s done! If it’s still too thin, take the strained jam and simmer it for another few minutes. Then test it again. Repeat until it’s thick enough.
  15. Ladle your warm jam into clean, sterilized jars. Let them cool to room temperature, then cover them and pop them in the fridge.
  16. Your jam will keep well in the fridge for at least a few weeks.
http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2009/09/21/concord-grape-jam/


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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

106 COMMENTS

  1. I knew my ears were burning!

    I saw your tweet about Concord Grapes earlier this evening and I was really excited! I borrowed a food mill last year just for the purpose of making a jam like this (I HEART these grapes) and now I have a recipe.

    I know I say that a lot, but I promise promise promise to make these really soon.

    Jeff

  2. I love concord grapes. We had a grapevine just up the hill from where I grew up and mom and I would go pick the grapes and make jam. This makes me want to go see if there are any grapes over there now!

    • Oh, I love that you had them in your yard! When I was little, my neighbor had grapevines all around her house. (She also had the biggest blackberry patch I’ve ever seen in my life.)

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

    • Hehehe…see? I knew I couldn’t be the only one who got a kick out of this. I’m with you on having a helpers, though. One pound of grapes is fun. Two starts *almost* feels like work. (Almost.)

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

  3. popping/peeling the grapes totally appeals to the the little kid & ocd in me, lol! i love the shot of them all peeled too, looks like a big pile of fish eggs XD

    i might try this for kicks, thanks again for another ‘canning’ recipe that’s easy!

  4. Hey there, this is the best recipe I have found online. Thanks for the tips! The detailed, pictured steps are great! My only question is can I can this jam? Do I need to add Suregel pectin to it if I can it? Thanks!
    -Christina 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Christina! 😀 Sorry for the delayed reply.

      Ya know, I’m not a huge traditional canner, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. As long as you simmer it down to thicken it until it passes the freezer test, you should be OK without the Suregel.

      Let me know how it turns out?

      +Jessie

      • I just made this this morning, an it would not thicken. put it in the jars anyways and hope it thickens. For in the future, what did I do wrong? I followed your instructions step by step.

  5. Wonderful description and visual aides – I was thrilled to find a method without using Certo! Flavor and color of my jam – over the top!

    Just one \flaw\ – I live in Concord, MA, and it is a far cry from a \sleepy little town\ – come visit the three vibrant sections of Concord – Concord Center for rich history and upscale shops – Thoreau Street for marvelous cafes – French and Italian, homemade icecream shop, may local businesses as well as an ordinary supermarket and a couple of chain eateries and then cross Route 2 into West Concord Village for a thriving neighborhood community with two bakeries and an outstanding Natural Foods Store – all of which have appeared in national publications. All of Concord is surrounded by a dozen local farms which supply seasonal fresh produce as well as organic and pasture-fed meats and eggs!

    • Thanks, so much Alice! 😀

      Hehe, and I meant no offense about Concord. You have to understand…I lived in Boston for so many years, that anywhere outside the city is relatively quiet to me. I’ve been to Concord many times, and know just what you’re talking about! (Consequently, we live in Salem now, and…except for Halloween…I’m apt to describe our city as relatively sleepy, too. 😉 )

      Cheers and thanks so much for stopping by!
      +Jessie

  6. I was happy to find this post. Last year’s jam with our white grapes was a challenge but this year’s jelly turned out well. I was just able to pick up 3# of concords at the market and was searching for a better jam recipe. This fits the bill – back to the kitchen!

  7. Our landlord just gave us TONs of concord grapes!
    I usually make freezer jam as I’m not set up for canning.
    If I use this recipe as is, can I freeze it???
    I normally use the Surejell recipes for other fruits but this is my first time working with grapes.
    Do I need to do anything different to make it be freezer jam???
    Thanks!

    • Oh wow! Lucky you. 😀

      Gosh, you know…I’ve never made freezer jam. From what I can gather, it looks like you freeze the jam, then let it thaw in the fridge before using. Is that about right?

      I found a few recipes online, and they all seem to consist of fruit, sugar, water, and pectin. The pectin will serve to thicken the jam–something I accomplish in this recipe by simmering it down on the stove.

      So…I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze this. 😀 Let me know how it goes?

      +Jessie

    • Hi, I picked 21 lbs. of concord grapes and began with your 3lb. recipe, popping open the grapes to separate the inards from the skins. Took me forever!!! The first batch turned out fine, just way to time consuming. So, I just put the next batch in the blender WHOLE and followed the rest of the recipe. It turned out great! NO NEED to pop those skins off. I made 20 pts of jelly and it was perfect!

      • @Grandma or anyone….

        did you “Can” it?!?! steam bath sealing jars and store out of fridge/freezer!?!?! 20pints is a lot of jam!! I want to make this but want to “can” it, sealed, storable for later consumption?!?!?

        Thanks, Deb

    • You don’t need special equipment to can this jam, just a big pot and a hand towel, it will last over a year if you waterbacth can it.

  8. Hi Jessie,

    I harvested 12 pounds of concord grapes off my two plants this Fall and was looking for a good jam recipe I could do. This was a fantastic recipe!! The illustrations were excellent! Thank you so much for posting this. I hope you don’t mind this, but my son taped me using your recipe and we’ll be posting it on YouTube. I intend to post a link to this recipe in the description. If you’d prefer that I didn’t, please let me know.

    Again, thank you very much. It was so informative and easy to follow that even I could do it.

    Sheldon

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and reporting in! SO glad you liked it. 😀 (You’re a lucky duck with all those grapes in your yard.)

      And on the contrary, I’d be thrilled if you linked to the recipe in your video. In fact, send me an email ([email protected]) with the link, and I’ll embed it in this post so folks can have another perspective. 😀

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

    • Thanks so much, Barb. Someone else asked about freezing this jam. I honestly haven’t done it, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. It’s just fruit, water, and sugar. Let me know how it keeps if you freeze it?

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

  9. Hi,
    I’m getting ready to make the concord grape jam recipe. I picked the grapes in my own backyard! About how many cups of grapes equals 3 lbs?

      • Hey Lori,

        First off, so sorry for the delayed reply! I really try to answer all questions as promptly as I can, but sometimes one slips by me. Thanks for commenting back with the measurement.

        One thing to note–your conversion is a good one, but will be approximate (which is just fine for a recipe like this).

        Since a pound is a measure of weight, and a cup is a measure of volume, the exact measurement will vary depending on the size of the grapes, how tightly they’re packed into the cup, how dense they are, etc.

        Totally nitpicky, I know, but worth noting in case someone tries to apply the same conversion to something like flour or sugar (more dense than flour)…

        Again, sorry for the delayed reply. I really hope you liked the jam. 😀

        Cheers!
        +Jessie

  10. September 0, 2010.
    Dear Jesse,
    Well I guess it’s grape harvesting time again.
    I have just discovered your excellent site and will certainly be a fan of yours. I have concords in my yard, and this year’s crop was the best ever. I followed your recipe, and the product is beyond wonderful. I did however have difficulty with the straining, as the jelling takes place as one strains and clogs up the strainer. Any suggestions? Ever try using a food mill for this step?
    Thanks,
    Jan

  11. Jan, I also have had an issue in the past when straining when the fruit was at the jelling point. What I do instead is strain before adding the sugar. I think this makes it a bit easier and you can start canning when your jam is at the right consistency without having to strain right before canning.

    • Thanks Lynn,
      I will try that. Also, I have been adding lots of things to the jam. Apples diced up, ginger, lemon peel, cloves. Very tasty results. BTW, re above, I use a blender for the skins and sugar combination, and it works just fine.
      Jan

  12. I used about 3 cups of grapes to a little less than a cup of sugar. (That was my unscientific conversion) It seems pretty sweet, but not too sweet. It made a few tiny jars. Mine was a little thin, even though I simmered an extra half hour. It’s still yummy. Next time I’ll try a little apple for the pectin.

  13. I have been searching for a grape jam vs. grape jelly and this one is it! Or I’ll be certain that this is it tomorrow when I check the jars just cooling now to make sure the jam has gelled. Delicious flavor! I only had 2 lbs. of Concord grapes so I adjusted to 2 cups of sugar and 1 TBS/1.5 tsp of lemon juice. I did boil the grape pulp first, just enough to loosen the seeds, and put it through a food mill to get rid of the seeds before adding the pulp to the other ingredients and continuing with the recipe since I want some skin in the jam. I can’t wait to try this on toast.

  14. I’ve been looking for a concord grape jam recipe that was simple and straight forward. This looks like it is right up my alley. My grapes are all skinned and ready for the pot. I can’t wait to try this.

  15. I just made my first batch of jam using your recipe and it turned out wonderful!! Thanks for sharing this simple recipe. It really is quite manageable when you save the grape popping for one night and the cooking for another.

  16. I made my first batch this morning with Concord grapes from the yard. While slipping the skins took a little bit of time, the end result was fantastic! The jam set up exactly on schedule and the flavor is incredible. Thanks for the great recipe!

  17. I’m writing this as I wait for my jam to set and just want to say THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for this recipie!!!!! This was my first time making jam or jelly or anything of the like and I really appriciated how easy your recipie was! I’m also glad that I was able to use the “squirt grapes” from my backyard!

  18. Can I use grapes other than concord for this? I got some grapes from local guy here in Iowa. They are purple but not concords. Same ingredients apply as above?

  19. Thanks for putting up a jam recipe that doesn’t require a food mill. I have mad hatred for food mills. I put up 6 1/2 pint jars of grape jam last week with Concord Grapes that my teenage son liberated from an abandoned property. He has since re-visited the orphaned vines three times, providing my BF and sis with their own supply of lovely Concords. I directed them to your tutorial. Thanks for not making it harder than it is.

    Looking forward to breakfast in February!

  20. Wonderful recipe, and thanks for the good insights! Our single vine yielded thirty-four POUNDS of grapes and this was a great use for them. I made jam in triple-sized batches, yielding 6.5 pints per batch. Since your page reminded me that fruit loses pectin as it ripens, I was able to throw some still-green and unbloomed grapes into the mix to boost the pectin amounts. This is not the over-sweet Smuckers result, but has a nice complexity, with that little kick of tart at the finish.

      • Have you ever tried the inversion method? I have always done this with my salsa and spaghetti sauce and have never had a jar fail to seal. I used it again with the jam this evening and everyone of them sealed. Do I still need to refrigerate if they are sealed?

        Also, I definitely learned to make it smaller batches. I had 10 quarts simmering all at once. I strained it after 40 minutes of simmering and then it needed to simmer for another hour after that before it was gelling correctly. I think if I had done 3-4 more shallow pans, it would have gone much more quickly.

        I had a hard time not just eating it warm! I can’t wait to try it on some homemade bread!

  21. We picked eleven pounds of grapes this past weekend. I cooked 16 cups down by mashing them with sugar and putting them through a mill. It turned out very good, but not as good as this kind did. Took my other 16 cups and peeled them, not only does it have a better grape flavor, it made 50% more then the mashed grapes did. Love this recipe, will do it again next year!!

  22. Thank you for the simple recipe and the great photos..This was my first attempt at making jam and first time I have used the Concord grape harvest we have from our one prolific vine. The only issue I encountered was the jam not setting up as expected. I had to add pectin to the pot at the end, after trying to reduce the mash for 1.25 hours.. the pectin did the trick, and now the whole family is excited to try the first jar once it cools..

    • Check Ball’s website for processing instructions. As for pectin, you shouldn’t need any. It will set up just fine as is. Let me know how it comes out! Good luck!

      +Jessie

  23. Hi, I just made this, but I had a very hard time with the jam thickening. I kept reducing and reducing, and finally decided to add pectin (have never used it before, and hope it tastes good in the end). I just didn’t want only one little jar after all those grapes! I ended up with 3.5 little jelly jars (8 oz each) full. Do you know if cooling the jam in between might help thicken it? It tasted sooo good, but I just couldn’t get it to thicken. Any tips?!

  24. Try lightly smoking the skins before blending with the sugar. Also soak the pulp in a bit of dry white vermouth over night. Make are really great end product.

  25. […] Concerd Grape Jam from The Hungry Mouse Tartilicious Concord Grape Jam from Local Kitchen Concord Grape Jam from Serious Eats /* Bookmark/Share var addthis_config = { services_compact: 'email, favorites, twitter, facebook, stumbleupon, myspace, delicious, digg, google, more', services_exclude: 'print' } leave a comment » […]

  26. Just peeled 70lbs of concord grapes from our grape vine. Last was our first year and we had 3 lbs and made 7 jars of fabulous jam thanks to the grape (haha) instructions. we’ll have presents for everyone this year! Happy Harvesting!

  27. My son bought a house with beautiful vines, so I tried this recipe. I kept simmering but my jam never passed the freezer test. 🙁 So I put it in jars anyway. I had doubled the recipe and expected 8 pints but with all the freezer testing simmering I ended up with 5 and a half pints. I hope it thickens up in the fridge, it tastes great. If it doesn’t thicken can I reheat it and get some sure gel or something? ( The pictures are very helpful, thank you.

  28. My wife always used wax to seal the jam. Can it be used with this recipe? It is my first time making jam without her help.
    Fred

  29. As someone else suggested, I would strain/squeeze the pulp first to remove the seeds through a food mill, then add the chopped skin mixture to the juice, if this was what I wanted.
    Basically, I bypass the individual peeling of the grapes and run the boiled down grapes through my foodmill, then add the sugar to the juice. This is more like making jelly, but I do get skin particles thru the mill, but without seeds.

    I don’t have a food processor or something to chop the skins, so I find this a worthy substitute for Jam. I make about 60 jars a year of “Jack’s Jelly Jam”. Most I give away and haven’t had a complaint yet!

  30. A new friend moved here and had a row of concord grapes (Nov.1) I picked a box full even though many were starting to shrivel. I steamed them into juice (several hours). Someone said I could make jelly/jam out of the juice. I never have before. I googled and found your site – it sounded WONDERFUL, but I have all this juice – can I just add some sugar and reheat it? Did I need the skins to make it set up? (it steamed til nothing more could come out). Please let me know asap, because I would love to make some jelly/jam from this juice if possible.
    Thanks
    bev

  31. After straining out the peels and the pits , all I had was a thin liquid and not much of it.
    The only change was that I had lightened up the amount of sugar. used. How do I thicken the next batch without resorting to using pectin. Thank you.

  32. Hey!!! This jam looks delicious or delash as my mom tends to say. I am doing a 7 day water fast and I plan on making this today (day 3) for my completion of my fast. This should help me ease into to solid foods and I am so excited to try this recipe.

    Thanks,
    Joe

  33. Great recipe, helpful descriptions and photos and good humour as well. However, did anyone else find that it took longer than 20 minutes to reach jam consistency? Perhaps my boil wasn’t strong enough or my stirring not frequent enough or my Ontario grapes are not as “thick”. but I’m now at 40 minutes and it’s not quite there. It sure tastes good, though. I mean, someone has to lick the plate when the test shows the jam isn’t ready!!

  34. great recipe…super easy! and loved the skins in the cuisinart to really capture all the flavor…set at recommended time…i imagine keeping seeds helped set w/o pectin…thanks also for posting photos…now off to eat some jam…! pm

  35. Just moved to Massachusetts, and I was about to tear some annoying ivy out of my trees in the back yard when I looked up and saw what looked like grapes. Sure enough, wild concord grapes. Over the last few weeks, I harvested about 4 pounds, and followed this recipe. Great jam, especially for my first time trying it!

  36. thanks for the clear video of your method for grape jam! it seems easier in places that the way i traditionally have done it, especially on the cooking end, but you should ALWAYS wipe the rims of your jars to ensure a clean seal. Your jars should be hot when you put the jam in, and so should your lids.

    What can you suggest to use instead of a food processor…I don’t have one.

  37. Hi!
    Love this recipe! However I am having trouble w it passing the thickness test. I have simmered and resimmered three times now but it is not thickeningup. Do you have any other suggestions for me? Other than this the jam was really easy and tastes great!

  38. Made 7# into 6 half pints, but it did not set up. So am re-heating with 2 blobs of pectin, and another 45 min. low boil. Loved the photos, and the description of food processing the peels (which I purchased a blender and it did work fine for that)…I did use a cheese cloth to squeeze the last bits out. Looks like it will set up this time. Thanks for the step by step.

  39. Recipe looked so easy…was really, only issue I had was: cooking on glass top range…not so good for simmer stage. Stove top didn’t want to stay at simmer, kept shutting down. So cooking process took longer (would have been shorter if I had paid attention to the heating element) Any way, the next issue for me was getting seeds strained out before jam cooled. By the time I got it into the jars, the jam was not hot….Great thing I got 6 pints out of 3 lbs of grapes, I added a bit of cinnamon & touch of ground gloves..heavenly grape jam!

  40. This recipe was excellent! I didn’t have to use pectin so the concord grape flavor was preserved and captured. I have some good news that will save a lot of time. I did one batch taking the skins off the gapes and puréed them and I did another batch and just crushed the whole grapes in the pot with my fist. I strained and bottled both batches and found no difference! I saved a lot of time on the second batch and actually prefer it over the batch with the skins were removed and puréed. I used my own yard grown grapes and they are pretty small so I’m not sure if that made a difference. I also have a cone shaped colander with a wooden pestle which helps me strain the seeds and skin more quickly and possibly more throughly then using a strainer and a spoon. The mix rendered down nicely and although I wasn’t sure if it would set, it did perfectly! For those who had trouble rendering it down or getting it to set, be sure you got all of the juice out of the pulp as possible and scrape the underside of your strainer to get the strained pulp in your juice. I spend a bit of time smashing the mix in my colander to get everything out of it I can. Anyway, thank you for posting this recipe, it was perfect! There are others recipes out there that I tried that were not very good Those recipes had me adding water to the grapes to boil and then loads of pectin to the juice that in the end I wound up with pink jelly that had a hit of grape flavor. This recipe, however, was out of the ball park with flavor! Just the way my Mom used to make it! Thanks again!

  41. Thanks for posting this. We just moved into a new house and inherited a concord grapevine that produced a ton of grapes. I had no idea what to do with them until I did a search and your post came up. I am making jam as I type this. My grandchildren are removing the skins for me. I have not made any jams or Nelly’s in over 30 years since my gram passed away. Thanks again for helping me get back to doing the fun things that I did with my gram and pass them on to my grandchildren.

  42. Hi,
    Just wanted to say thank you for sharing this excellent recipe tutorial and clear explanations. The tip with the plate in the freezer is so helpful, this is what made the Jam really professional.
    I actually used Isabella vine, that had a wonderful Mango taste and hoped the flavor will remain in the jam. Unfortunately it didn’t and 3 cups of sugar were too much for an amount of 1.5 kg of vines. I assume this is because some vines are more sweet than others.
    I really like the color and texture of the jam though.
    Thanks again!
    Judith

  43. It is 8:30 p.m. and I have been cooking my jam for an hour now. The Concords came from the vineyard behind my house. The grow them for juice but sell them from a stand near the vineyard. So glad to find your recipe. I read the post and they were helpful also. I think I will have a midnight snack. lol

  44. Worked up this recipe in a jiffy. It’s easier skinning the grapes by small handfuls instead of one by one… by one… by one… And my daughters helped. Got the concords from my neighbor who has had several families glean from her vines and there are still more to be gotten! If I get all 20ish lbs worked up I may go back for more (unless I run out of jars first…). I’m bath canning them and it seems to be going great. Never thought it would be this easy to get jam to set! I thought about juicing some of the grapes, but it was so much work to harvest them it seemed like too little reward for the effort. Jam on the other hand is enough work to make it worth it!

  45. Failure! I followed Sheldon’s Video to the T and cooked it and cooked it and cooked it and danged if it would thicken enough to set. I finally gave up at midnight and put the Jam in jars and am now praying for devine intervention overnight. Before you ask, I made sure that the grapes were not overly ripe. I have never had problems getting my Jams to set until this year. I never used Pectin and never had a problem. This year I have made 2 types of Plum Jam, Peach Jam and Apple Butter and the only ones that really set were the ones that I recooked with Certo. It must be the Russians! I have about 10# of Concordes left and I am heading to the store first thing in the morning to pick up some Sure Jel. I’m tired of this. BTW: My Food Mill works wonders for getting the seeds out. Much easier that using a strainer or seave. Thanks all, for listening to me moan and groan.

  46. Sounds yummy! My grandmother always put melted parifin on top of the jam and it lasted for a long time (if us kids didn’t eat it all first).

  47. Why do you have to add lemon juice? What purpose does it serve? Never heard of using lemon juice, so that’s why I’m asking.

  48. Thank you! This is the most comprehensive explanation that I have ever found! I am new to dealing with grapes and we just picked a half bushel. If everything goes well, I might go get more!!

  49. I realize I am probably a few years late to the party, but I first wanted to say thanks for posting the recipe. Secondly, I found a much faster way to skin the grapes. Rather than doing each individually, I grabbed a handful and just squeezed them making sure my fingers were closed up kind of tight. Almost like you are making a fist. The inner part of the grapes squirted out from between my fingers, while the skins stayed behind in my hand. I just did several pounds in about 5 minutes.

  50. WOW, what a wonderful tutorial- so easy to follow and so educational- thank you!
    I have a question though – I have trouble standing or sitting in one position for very long so in some cases I take shortcuts. I have a kitchen aid and the gadgets to mill fruits/veggies (thanks to a wonderful father-in-law!
    I was wondering if this jam should come good if I were to press the whole grapes through to remove the seeds and skins and extract juice? I’ve done it before just using an assortment of grapes were growing and it was great and the mill actually seems to push some skin through because the juice was a rich color.
    I have 2 grapevines full of Concordes that I want to process today because I have help but I don’t want to ruin my jam! please let me know your thoughts as soon as possible – I really appreciate it!!!
    Im
    i’m also making fig jam -any suggestions gratefully accepted 🙂
    Susie aka cooknwoman

  51. Just want to say THANKS for posting this recipe!! I have 3 Concord grape vines in my yard and made 2 batches of this jam last year <3 To those who were wondering this jam freezes excellent…we're on our last jar from the freezer and now picked 30lbs this week so here goes again! I'm hoping I have as much luck this year! It's a big hit with whoever tries it :))

  52. My husband’s grapes got harvested by me this morning at 9:00. They were so beautiful. Followed your directions to the letter and except for the thickening, they turned out great. I boiled them for almost an hour, continually testing with the frozen plate. I also used the strainer with the wooden pestle, good trick. Did two batches and got 11 half pint jars. Did the water bath for 15 minutes. My husband thinks I am quite the cook. Little does he know how much fun it was! Thanks for posting the photos and explicit instructions! Love from Minnesota!

  53. Thank God I found this recipe! I used it last year and people LOVED it! (Except my mother in law, ha!) My sister confessed she ate it right out of the jar with a spoon! It has a bright juicy flavor that takes you back to early fall, anytime! Thanks again!

  54. My first try.. and its the best one!!

    Here in India I dont get the concord grapes but this recipe worked just fine!

    Thank you so much for such a detailed recipe!

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