Although winter is here and thoughts are turning towards baking, roasting and the festive season, I had to share my experience making my very own grape jam for the first time ever!
This fall, we had a bounty of little purple grapes growing on thick vines climbing partly over the front wall of our little country home here in France. We knew they were ripe for the picking by the number of wasps, flies, bees, etc that were attracted to them. It would have been a shame to see them go to waste except for feeding these little insects of course so we decided we’d give making jam a try.
My lovely mother-in-law is an expert when it comes to making jams, preserves, etc what with their own abundant fruit garden that gives them basketfuls of apples, prunes, strawberries to name a few. She gets busy every summer making jams and storing them for the months ahead.
However, she’d never made grape jam before and so I had to turn to the all knowing internet for help. I came upon a nice blog called ‘The Hungry Mouse’ that had a detailed step by step explanation on how to go about the process of making grape jam(with concord grapes which is the type of grape I assumed we had too).
So here’s what we did – we first plucked as many bunches of the ripe fruit as we could and ended up with about 1.5kgs. We then painstakingly separated the pulp from the skin. The skins were then blended with half the quantity of sugar used overall (roughly double the weight of grapes) and mixed it with the pulp. Put all of this with the rest of the sugar on a medium heat and cooked it till it thickened which took about 20-25 minutes. The liquid was then strained to remove the pits.
We did the freezer plate test to see if the jam was set. To my delight, it was and lo and behold, my first ever batch of jam of any kind was ready! This was then ladled it into sterilized glass jars and stuck pretty labels on them.
We’re still enjoying the thick, intensely purple jam as a lovely accompaniment to our breakfast bread or yoghurt and the best part is that it’s all home-made. Couldn’t get better than that!