Our Concord grapevines are loaded with grapes this year and that means it is time to make our own grape jelly.

grape jelly
Our grape jelly canned and ready to be stored.

As much as I see websites posting about making strawberry jam or jelly, I rarely come across a recipe for grape jelly. I would imagine it is due to the fact that the grapes ripen in the middle of vegetable garden season.

Everyone is researching, reading, and writing about how to can pickles, tomatoes, and peppers and not much love is given to the grape harvest.

We too are busy with preserving our tomatoes, but it is always nice to take a break from peeling and processing tomato sauce and salsa and make a little homemade grape jelly.

Even if you don’t have your own grapes or can’t find them at the farmer’s market, you can still make your own jelly. As long as you can find 100% grape juice with no additives, and not previously frozen as a concentrate, grape jelly can be made.

However, because we have fresh grapes to pick, we decided to use our own this year.

grape jelly
We love to use our concord grapes to make jelly.

I have not tried making this recipe in a sugar-free version. Although as long as you correctly convert your sugar to an alternative sweetener, I would imagine it would turn out just fine.

The important thing, whether you are making it with sugar or a substitute, is to use no-sugar needed pectin. And yes, we even use it when we add sugar to our recipe.

The benefit of using pectin that is designed for no-sugar added recipes, is that we can use less sugar than when standard pectin is used. In fact, we have cut the sugar required for this recipe in half by using Sure-Jell no-sugar added pectin. 

The results -just the right amount of sweetness in a grape jelly that gels up perfectly.

We not only make our grape jelly for spreads on sandwiches, we also use it in various recipes such as meatballs and Little Red Smokie appetizers.

But the most gratifying way that we use our grape jelly is as a gift to family and friends around the holidays! We love to share the products from our farm and watch others enjoy it as much as we do!

Best of all, this recipe can also be made from grape juice. So if you are searching for a homemade gift idea in the middle of November, when there are no grapes to be picked, this recipe is perfect!

Grape Jelly Recipe

**makes approximately 12 half-pint jars

INGREDIENTS:

5 lbs of grapes, or 5 cups of all-natural, no sugar added grape juice

4 cups sugar

1 box no-sugar needed pectin, plus ¼ of another box

INSTRUCTIONS:

grape jelly
Smashing grapes before they are boiled with help the juices release much quicker.

1. Wash the grapes. If making jelly from grape juice, skip to step 6

2. In a large bowl, add enough grapes to fill the bottom of the bowl. Using a potato masher, crush the grapes.

3. Add the crushed grapes to a large non-reactive stockpot. Repeat until all the grapes are in the pot.

4. Add enough water to the pot just until the grapes are barely covered. Bring the grapes to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Pour the mixture into a jelly strainer or in a colander lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl. For best results let the mixture strain overnight.

6. In a small bowl, add the pectin and ½ cup of sugar and mix together. Set aside.

grape jelly
Although not necessary, a jelly strainer comes in handy when making jelly!

7. Place a metal spoon in a glass of ice water and set aside.

8. Pour the strained grape juice into a large stockpot and add the pectin/sugar mixture. Over medium-high heat cook the juice until it begins to boil.

9. Stir in the remaining sugar and bring it back to a rolling boil. Let it continue to boil for 1 minute and test the thickness using the cold spoon. Fill the teaspoon half full and set it on a plate. Once It cools to room temperature, turn the spoon sideways. If the gel has thickened to the desired consistency you can begin to fill the sterilized mason jars, leaving ¼ inch head space. If not, continue the boiling process and retest until it thickens.

10. You can freeze the jelly in freezer-safe mason jars or process in a water bath for 5 minutes (adjusting for altitude as needed) for both half-pint and pint jars.

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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Grape Jelly Recipe

An easy to make grape jelly recipe using half of the sugar of standard grape jelly recipes.
Servings 12 half-pint jars

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs of grapes or 5 cups of all-natural, no sugar added grape juice
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 box no-sugar needed pectin plus ¼ of another box

Instructions

  1. Wash the grapes. If making jelly from grape juice, skip to step 6
  2. In a large bowl, add enough grapes to fill the bottom of the bowl. Using a potato masher, crush the grapes.
  3. Add the crushed grapes to a large non-reactive stockpot. Repeat until all the grapes are in the pot.
  4. Add enough water to the pot just until the grapes are barely covered. Bring the grapes to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Pour the mixture into a jelly strainer or in a colander lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl. For best results let the mixture strain overnight.
  6. In a small bowl, add the pectin and ½ cup of sugar and mix together. Set aside.
  7. Place a metal spoon in a glass of ice water and set aside.
  8. Pour the strained grape juice into a large stockpot and add the pectin/sugar mixture. Over medium-high heat cook the juice until it begins to boil.
  9. Stir in the remaining sugar and bring it back to a rolling boil. Let it continue to boil for 1 minute and test the thickness using the cold spoon. Fill the teaspoon half full and set it on a plate. Once It cools to room temperature, turn the spoon sideways. If the gel has thickened to the desired consistency you can begin to fill the sterilized mason jars, leaving ¼ inch head space. If not, continue the boiling process and retest until it thickens.
  10. You can freeze the jelly in freezer-safe mason jars or process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes (adjusting for altitude as needed) for both half-pint and pint jars.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Make Your Meals

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11 thoughts on “Homemade Grape Jelly Recipe – Made With Fresh Grapes or Juice

  • August 16, 2018 at 3:37 pm
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    Could I substitute honey for the sugar?

    • August 16, 2018 at 3:46 pm
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      I have never tried this specific recipe with honey as the sweetener. However, I make strawberry honey jam all the time and it works well.

      • August 16, 2018 at 4:46 pm
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        Thank you for the reply! I’m new to jam making, is the pectin 100% necessary?

        • August 16, 2018 at 4:54 pm
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          Pectin is a natural ingredient that make the ‘gel’ in jelly. However you can make jam and not use pectin. Just add seedless grapes, honey, lemon juice and a diced under ripe apple with the peel still on in a pot. As it heats crush down the grapes and boil for about 25-30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to grind up the pulp and peels. Continue to boil until the desired consistency is reached. This may take a while to reduce down, just be patient. Hope this helps!

          • August 16, 2018 at 7:54 pm
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            It does! Thank you so much!

  • August 14, 2018 at 7:40 pm
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    I, too, love to make grape jelly. It is an easy jelly to make and it is delicious. Also have you ever combined rhubarb and grape for a jelly out of this world?

    • August 15, 2018 at 9:18 am
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      I have never tried it with rhubarb. What a fantastic idea! Thank you for sharing!

  • August 14, 2018 at 6:29 pm
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    What do you do with the leftover grape pulp? Can you make the jam with the pulp? Thank you

    • August 15, 2018 at 9:20 am
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      I have always composted the leftover pulp. If you have seedless grapes, I am sure you could use the pulp to make jam. I would recommend using an immersion blender to grind the skins down a little so you don’t end up with large strands in the jam.

  • August 14, 2018 at 8:36 am
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    I hope you can post a recipe for the jelly with stevia. It would be wonderful for those of us who are diabetic to be able. to enjoy jelly.

    • August 14, 2018 at 3:23 pm
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      Hi Lois I have not personally tried to substitute stevia for sugar in this recipe. However, you would replace the 4 cups of sugar with 1 1/3 cup stevia. However, the jelly may be darker in color and slightly more runny than if sugar was added. You can adjust the amount of stevia per your taste and based upon how sweet the grapes are. Hope that helps!

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