Grape jelly is easier to make than most people realize, especially with my quick recipe. In this post I’ll show you exactly how to make it, step by step.
There is something so delicious and special about homemade grape jelly, and this recipe is the best, especially for beginners.
If you have always loved the thought of making your own grape jelly, but felt intimidated to do so, this recipe is for you. Today, I’m sharing all my tips, tricks, and steps for how to do it.
It’s perfect for slathering on your toast, english muffin, or biscuit in the morning, snacks for the kiddos, or dolloping on cheesecake and other desserts, and more!
Homemade Grape Jelly
This grape jelly recipe is sweet and flavorful. It’s quick and easy to whip up a batch, with only 3 simple ingredients. Once you make this, you will never go back to the store-bought version.
Best Grapes To Use For Making Jelly
The best type of grapes to use for making jelly are concords fresh off the vine, even slightly underripe.
This is due to the intense flavor and naturally higher sugar content. If that is not available to you, any type of red grape will work, such as merlot or crimson, to name a few.
Avoid using green and white, as they are not sweet enough, so the result will be a very bland flavor.
Related Post: How To Trellis Grapes In Your Home Garden
What Is Grape Jelly Made Of?
This grape jelly recipe is made of 3 simple ingredients, concord grapes, sugar, and pectin. All of these are very common and easy to find.
Grape Jelly Ingredients
Below I’ll give you the details of exactly what you need to make this. Once you have the items on hand, you can whip up a batch in no time.
1. Grapes – This is the star of the recipe and provides all of the flavor. Ripe or slightly under ripe concord grapes fresh off the vine are the best, but you could use store-bought ones too.
If you can’t find concord, choose another red variety, like merlot or crimson. You can also use pure (no sugar added) juice instead, if you can’t find whole fruits.
2. Sugar – This provides extra sweetness and complements the natural flavors of the fruit. The sugar also enhances the strength and consistency in how it interacts and gels with the pectin.
3. Pectin – This recipe ingredient helps thicken your grape jelly. Using the no-sugar added variety allows you to lower the content.
Tools & Equipment
You do need a few items to prepare it, most of which you should already have on hand. Gather what you need ahead of time to simplify the process.
- 12 half pint jars OR 6 pint jars
- Large bowl
- Jelly strainer OR fine colander lined with cheesecloth
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Potato masher
- Mixing spoon
Tips For Making Grape Jelly
This grape jelly recipe is very quick and easy to make, so you shouldn’t have any issues. But here are a few tips for the best success.
- If you don’t have fresh fruit, or want to simplify and speed up the process, you could use 100% unsweetened grape juice for this jelly recipe instead.
- Test the thickness by using a cold metal spoon. You’ll know it’s thick enough when it falls slowly from the spoon. If it’s not thick enough, keep simmering it until it is.
Canning Your Grape Jelly (Optional)
Fill the hot jars with hot grape jelly, leaving ¼” headspace on top. Then process them for 5 minutes. You may need to adjust the processing time for altitude.
Allow the jars to cool completely before removing the bands. Then store them in a cool dark place, such as a pantry, where it will last for 12 months.
Related Post: How To Protect Your Backyard Grapes From Birds & Bugs
Using & Storing Homemade Grape Jelly
You can enjoy your homemade grape jelly right away, or store for later. It will last up to one month in the refrigerator, or 6-12 months in the freezer.
There are many ways to enjoy it. You can spread it on a peanut butter sandwich, toast, pancakes, waffles, or biscuits.
Or use it in your recipes, it’s delicious in a crock pot over meatballs, in cookies, dolloped on cheesecake, and so much more.
Below are a few of the most common questions I get asked about this process, as well as my answers to help you even more.
Can you make jelly from store bought grapes?
Yes, you can make jelly from store bought grapes. Just ensure they are a red variety, as the green ones aren’t sweet enough.
Does grape jelly need pectin?
Yes, grape jelly needs pectin, it’s what thickens it. I like the low or no-sugar needed kind, because it allows you to use less sugar, but any type will work.
Can you water bath can grape jelly?
Yes, you can water bath can grape jelly. Simply bring the water to a full boil, then process the jars for 5 minutes.
How do you strain grapes for jelly?
I am certain this grape jelly recipe will be a new favorite in your house. Its smooth texture and perfect sweetness will complement any of your meals or desserts.
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More Garden Fresh Recipes
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- How To Can Apple Butter (With Recipe!)
- How To Make An Acai Bowl (Recipe)
Share your favorite grape jelly recipe in the comments section below.