Homemade, low sugar Concord grape jelly is a fun one to have in the pantry and makes the most delicious nut butter sandwich imaginable!
I was certain that I was going to miss the Concord grape season this year. I spent most of September away from Philadelphia and while I did plenty of canning while out in Portland, I didn’t manage to get any grapes.
Now, it’s easy enough to get good quality Concord grape juice any time of year for jelly making (and I tell you how to do exactly that in my first cookbook). But I do so like to make it straight from the grapes when I can, because there’s nothing like the fragrance and flavor of fresh Concord grapes.
A couple weekends ago, I spent the morning demonstrating how to make honey-sweetened jam at the Antietam Valley Farmers Market. When I was done with my demo, I made a quick circuit to pick up a few things for the week and one of the vendors had three quarts of Concord grapes left. They all came home with me.
This preserve is halfway between a jelly and a jam. Instead of simply extracting the juice from the grapes, I simmer them and then push them through a food mill, so that I can get as much pulp as possible into my finished product.
Just remember. Concord grapes stain like crazy, so wear dark colors or your least favorite apron when making this. And if you have marble countertops, take care!
This is a lower sugar grape jelly that you often find (I used a ratio of 4 parts juice to 1 part sugar). I’ve got a similar preserve in Naturally Sweet Food in Jars that is sweetened with maple sugar, if you want to avoid the refined stuff entirely.
I like this version because the flavor of the grapes is the one that it spotlights, and there’s nothing better on piece of peanut butter toast than a smear of grapey goodness.