July 20, 2012

Wild Grapes

The wild grapes that grow locally are now ripe, so we picked some to make jelly.

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Yesterday, we were passing a huge wild grape vine that we’ve been watching, and we saw that they had mostly turned dark. We had a small bag with us, so we decided to fill it, which took all of 10 minutes. We then turned our forage into the most delicious jelly, both sweet and tart.

We collected 2 lbs, so this recipe is for that amount. We didn’t have any pectin, so we improvised.

  • Take the grapes off the stem and wash them.
  • Put them in a saucepan and add 1/2 cup water.
  • Crush the grapes with a potato masher.
  • Bring to a boil , cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Strain and squeeze the mixture through a jelly bag, cheese cloth or similar fabric.
  • Leave the juice overnight and then pour it out gently, so that the tartrate (a grainy substance) is left behind.
Our 2 lbs grapes made 2 cups of strained, clear juice. The following morning, we finished the process.

  • Add 3/4 cups of sugar and the juice from 2 limes to the grape juice.
  • Boil, stirring constantly.
  • Add a little jello powder (if you have no pectin on hand).
  • Stir and pour into a jar.

Ours is still setting up as I write, but that hasn’t stopped us trying it a couple of times. It is wonderful. I guess I need to make some sourdough bread or pancakes for tomorrow.

Note: It never did set up, so the jello powder didn’t work. Still tastes great though.

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