The pleasure and danger of being a food writer is that friends call you when they have too much food. This weekend, my friends Ron and Carla said they were cutting their grape arbor. Would I like some grapes? Of course, I said YES!
When I got there, there were nearly 4 large bins full. I took one, but then, they convinced me to take two. This is what they looked like even after my mom took 4 large bags of grapes.
I didn’t know what a ridiculous undertaking it would be. It took me two whole days to clean, wash, de-stem and process the grapes.
Here is a giant bowl of ripe grapes that my husband washed and de-stemmed for me.
I put them in a couple of my LeCreuset pots to boil down to make jelly. I ended up doing 4 batches!
They boiled down into this plum-colored grape juice. Then, I strained out all the seeds and skins. Put it back in the pot and added sugar to taste. I like my jelly not too sweet, and I’m very bad at following directions.
I ended up using one 4.7-ounce container of Ball brand pectin per pot. I might have been able to use less, but I was worried that the jelly wouldn’t set.
It was like a factory in our house! And the house smelled delicious for days. I ended up putting up over 50 half-pint jars! And over 6 giant bottles of juice. Our juicer was on its last legs, and juicing all those grapes was the final nail in the juicer’s coffin.
The jelly came out a gorgeous plum color with just a bit of tartness. Whew!