Concord Grape Jam
|Gorgeous Homegrown Concord Grapes|
Ok. Fast forward. I have a huge bag of concord grapes on my kitchen floor. Good Grief! I just got done with the tomatoes.
So, I grab this years new treasure in my cook book library, Canning for a New Generation, Bold Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry by Liana Krissoff. Her Spiced Concord Grape Jam was going to get tested. One of the reasons I've enjoyed this particular canning book is that the author uses less sugar and natural pectin than the traditional recipes. She also combines flavors that I wouldn't have thought of, with delicious results.
Admittedly the first batch, was a *wee* bit challenging as I'd never worked with grapes before. I had hoped to use my food strainer and that was a bust. I figured out I needed to create an assembly line.
|Concord Grape Jam Assembly Line|
note The little stems are a total pain in the ass. I kept warm water in the sink close by so I could quickly rise my hands often as I went about de-hulling the grapes.
Second, the pulp needs to come to a boil on the stove. It soften them up for the next step. Where I deviated from the recipe is that I blended up my hulls instead of adding them whole later as the recipe called for. I used my ancient blender for this step. The blended hulls went into the central cooking pot.
|Boiling Grape Pulp|
|Separating the grape pulp from the seeds.|
Forth, I added the ingredients to the blended hulls and de-seeded pulp. Onto the stove top it goes, until it boils and then turned down to simmer for about 15-20 mins, until it was ready to be put into warm, waiting canning jars.
I found my enameled cast iron pot to be a great cooking pot for jam making. You won't find this frugal gal sporting Le Creuset...nope. Thank you, but good old Lodge cookware is working great for me.
Then, I followed directions for water bathing the jam and presto....22 half pints later, I was done.
|Spiced Concord Grape Jam|
|'Silver Cat' as he is commonly called around here.|
Drumroll please...the taste...pretty darn good. You can taste the sassy grapes against the contrast of the tangy lemon, with just a hint of spices. It is not a sweet jam, but it is not tart either.
Requests from family are already lining up for my jam at Christmas. Awesome. Exactly what I was hoping for!