Let’s Get Jamming: Make Your Own Concord Grape Jam!

Two weeks ago my husband and I went grape picking and got a bunch of Concord grapes, but it wasn’t enough to make jam.  Last week Field Goods had Concord grapes, so of course we bought a bunch, and guess what we did Monday night.  Yep!  Made Concord grape jam!21930967_10100986261576039_163266320_o

Homemade Concord grape jam is not only fun to make, but so rewarding!  It’s fun seeing how grapes become jam.  It’s fun knowing that you picked your own grapes or got them from a local farm.  But, you know what’s really interesting?  After you make your own Concord grape jam one time, you really appreciate the hard work that goes into it!  Sure, you can go the store and buy grape jam on any store shelf, but that was made in a factory, and probably traveled many miles to reach you.  When you make it yourself, not only is your jam fresh, but you truly appreciate all the steps that go into turning fresh grapes into jam.  Just think about it, back in the day if you wanted jam you had to make it yourself!  It’s hard work!  So roll up your sleeves, put on some clothes you don’t mind if they get grape stains on them (this will get messy), and let’s get started!

How To Make Concord Grape Jam

You Will Need:

  • 3lbs of fresh Concord grapes
  • 3 cups of white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of pectin (optional)
  • Mason Jars

Step One:

Take 3 pounds of fresh Concord grapes and remove them from their skin.  Put the grape skins in one bowl and the actual grapes (i.e. “skinned grapes”) in another.

Step Two:

Put the grape skins in a food processor with one cup of white sugar.  Pulse until liquefied.  Put this mixture to the side.  Note: Once this step is complete, be careful because the blended grape skins will dye fabric and skin.

Step Three:

Heat the skinned grapes in a pot over medium heat until boiling.  Once grapes start to boil, reduce heat to a low simmer.  Let simmer until the grapes break down.

Step Four:

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl.  Remove the skinned grapes from heat, and place in strainer.  Using a spoon, gently stir the grapes.  The juice will strain to the bottom leaving just the seeds in the strainer.

Step Five:

Return the juice back to the pot.  Discard the grade seeds left in strainer.  Add the liquefied grape skin mixture from Step Two with two cups of sugar.  Heat on medium heat until the mixture starts simmering.  Once the mixture starts simmering add 2 tablespoons of pectin and stir well.  Note: You can omit the pectin if you want a thinner jam.  Let the mixture simmer on medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step Six:

Turn off heat and you’re ready to jar!  Congrats!  You have made jam!  Have your clean, sterilized mason jars ready and start filling.  Cap immediately.

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Step Seven:

Fill a large pot with water.  Place your filled and capped jars in the pot and boil for 15 minutes.  Note: If you are planning on eating your jam immediately and just storing in the fridge, you can skip this step.

Step Eight:

After boiling, remove jars and let cool on counter top.  As the jars sit you will start hearing a popping noise letting you know that your jars have been vacuum sealed.  Once cool, place your jars in refrigerator (especially if you skipped Step Seven) or a dark cool place.

I’m all about making things for yourself and knowing where your food comes from.  Although there’s a lot of steps to jam making, it’s a lot of fun.  Not to mention that the finished product is absolutely delicious!  So what are you waiting for?  Get some farm fresh Concord grapes and make some jam for yourself!


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