10 Easy Steps to Making Grape Jam

10 Easy Steps to Making Grape Jam

jamGrape jam is one of America’s favorite jams. It’s so good to have peanut butter and grape jam (or jelly) on bread for a quick snack!

I always wanted to try something other than store bought grape jam so I took an adventure to the USDA Farmer’s Market in DC and bought concord grapes in the fall on a mission to cook my own.  The grapes are from C&T Produce of Fredericksburg, VA.

One of my biggest tips when it comes to sugar is to taste the grapes first. When buying grapes, look for its texture and juice content. The more juice in each grape will produce more jam.  Depending on the season, the grapes will taste sweeter or duller.  Then you can decide to increase the sugar or not (See my note on the ingredient part).

Large stock pot
Large bowl (for transferring the juice)
Dishwasher gloves
Large wooden spoon
Potato Masher
Jam funnel
Ladle spoon
Hand-held electric blender
Long handled mesh strainer (colander) – must have small holes!
Cheese cloth
Cooking thermostat
Ball jam jars

1 kilogram of granulated sugar – may reduce to 700-800 grams depending on the grape’s sugar.
2 kilograms of concord grapes
Agar agar (2 packets)

Makes approximately 6 to 7,  8 ounce jam jars.

Step 1:   Sanitize everything!  Heat up water and pour over all your jam jars and lids, the spoon, stock pot. Make sure you use very hot water and carefully with dishwasher gloves handle the items to dry. Use a clean towel.  Set aside jam jars.

Step 2:  Clean grapes. Remove stems.

Step 3:  Cook the grapes in a large stock pot on high until they soften up.

Step 4:  Use the hand held blender and mash up the grapes more until squishy.

Step 5:  Cook the grapes for another 5 minutes while stirring.

colanderStep 6:  Drain the grapes with the colander and press/squeeze with ladle the juices with the cheese cloth on top. Push the potato masher and  press down to squeeze the juice  into a large bowl underneath.  The large bowl should catch the juice. You may need a partner to help you with this part to hold the colander.

Step 7:  With a clean stock pot (free from pulp and skins) transfer the juice back into the stock pot.

Step 8:  Add the sugar. Stir with the wooden spoon and cook on high. In a few minutes add the agar agar, stir again, and cook until approximately 220-240 Fahrenheit.    You should stir a lot.

Step 9:  With the ladle spoon out the juice and pour into the funnel of a jar just to the top. Close tightly with a lid and flip over.

Step 10:  Let jam jars cool down!


Author: Kimberly Kweder

33 years old, career woman, Pittsburgh native, and loves projects that involve communications, social media, and international development.

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