Recently I picked about 15 – 20 pounds of wild Mustang Grapes near my house and generated 15 Cups of Grape Pulp after boiling down the whole grapes and straining the mixture through a colander to separate the juice and pulp from the skins and seeds. I was prepared to make three batches of Homemade Wild Grape Jam, but my friend Emily, a fan of my homemade jams suggested that I make homemade grape jelly.
I had never made homemade jelly before, but could not imagine it being that difficult to make. I had read enough instructions on the making of jams, preserves and jellies that the most significant difference between jams and jellies is that the majority of the fruit pulp is removed prior to adding the Pectin and Sugar.
To filter the pulp from the grape juice, I layered a colander over a large bowl with four layers of wet cheese cloth. Then I poured the grape juice and pulp mixture into the colander and over the period of a few minutes a large amount of the pulp was removed from the grape juice.
I repeated the process a second time to ensure that I removed as much of the fruit pulp from the grape juice. I discarded the cheese cloth with the fruit pulp and the result was 9 Cups of filtered grape juice.
Since the standard batch size to make jams or jellies from grapes if 5 Cups of grape juice, I went to the store to purchase a bottle of filtered unsweetened white grape juice to add 1 Cup of juice to the second batch of jelly that I was going to make.
At this point the process to make homemade grape jelly is no different that the steps required for homemade grape jam. To the 5 Cups of grape juice that I brought to a boil in a pot, I added a box of Pectin and then brought the mixture to a boil. I then added 7 Cups of Sugar, stirring often until the combined ingredients came to a roiling boil. I removed the pot from the burner and then ladled the grape jelly into the canning jars that had been sterilized earlier. Once the jars were capped, I placed them in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Once removed, the lids popped indicating that a good seal was made and I allowed the jars to cool prior to adding labels. As with all of my posts on making jams and jellies, the instructions included in the box of Pectin or from the following PDF from Ball Preserving offer the easiest set of instructions to successfully make your own homemade fruit jams and jellies.
Once the first batch was complete, I then repeated the same process for the second batch which included 1 Cup of filtered unsweetened grape juice from the grocery store. For the “taste testing”, I spread the Wild Mustang Grape Jelly on toast with butter. The color of the jelly was just as dark as the jam, but it was clearer, less cloudy and spread on the toast as one expects of jelly. The flavor was just as intense and the texture of the jelly was “jelly-like”. Yes, I said it. Is there any other possible way to describe the texture of jelly on the tongue? Personally, it was a success and the activities to make homemade grape jelly from grapes is very easy.
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