Garlic Harvest at Flying Coyote Farm in Olympia Washington
Driving to Portland on a Friday and Eating at Nostrana

Concord Grape Jelly Experiment

My aunt's farm has a Concord grape vine that came with the property. For years I've visited Flying Coyote Farm in harvest season but never when the grapes were exactly ripe. As luck would have it they were ripe this year.

As I really had no idea what to do with them I took a small bowl full with the rest of my farm bounty back to my house in Seattle. I then proceeded to study the options available for a possessor of said Concord grapes on the internets.

I determined, after multiple searches, that there was pretty much one option for my grapes - and that was jelly. That being determined it was important to find a recipe that didn't call for pectin or the removal of the grape skins - which conveniently appeared as Easy Concord Grape Jelly.

The recipe called for a Granny Smith apple, 10 cups of Concord grape, 1 cup water and 2 cups of sugar.

De-stem the grapes and chop the apple - then put them all together in a pot with a cup of water. Bring it to a boil and let simmer for about ten minutes.
Strain the mixture through cheesecloth without squeezing or pushing, just let it drip, drip, drip slowly through the cloth. What is left over looks a lot like bear poop if you have ever had the pleasure - but it smells way better.
After straining you have some awesome smelling grape juice. Now put it back on the stove and add 2 cups of sugar and bring to a boil.

Now the fun part - my recipe said to boil "until it slides off in sheets from a cold spoon." What the heck does that mean? I had no idea but I went for it. I boiled and stirred and boiled and stirred and drank wine with my visiting friend who complimented my kitchen prowess, and boiled and stirred and eventually it started to bubble and grow. After it grew a little bigger and looked a little like grape jelly on a cold spoon I decided it was done.

By this time I had managed to reduce ten cups of grapes into two small jars of jelly, plus a wee little bit. I admit that I think I overcooked it. The recipe said 18 minutes of boiling...I'm pretty sure I boiled it for an about an hour, but I lost track of time with the wine and chatting.

In the end it is the best grape jelly I have eaten in my life, albeit a wee bit thick.

Concord Grape Jelly the Easy-ish Way

10 cups Concord grapes

1 cup water

1 Granny Smith green apple, chopped

2 cups granulated sugar

See steps above.

comments powered by Disqus