Concord Grape Jam

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"Concord Grape Jam Recipe"

As much canning and preserving that took place in my home when I was young, I have no memories of homemade jams or jellies on our table.  I can’t imagine among the tomatoes, pickles, sauerkraut, and green beans that lined the shelves of our basement’s root cellar, there weren’t jars of fruit preserved in one way or another.  I just don’t recall any.  As with most All-American families of the day, Welch’s Grape Jelly accompanied peanut butter in our sandwiches and butter on our toast.  I do, however, remember concord grapes making an appearance from time to time.  It makes sense that they went into jam making – but again, no memory of that.  Maybe I am blocking.  Maybe I had the arduous job of peeling the grapes for their journey to the jam jars and so I’m blocking any recollection of that tedious task.  "Concord Grape Jam Recipe"

As I opened the bag from the farmer’s market containing 4 pounds of concord grapes, I was suddenly struck by the realization that I was probably going to have to peel each and everyone of them in order to make jam.  I had so much on my agenda to accomplish that day and it occurred to me that I would not be whipping out this jam in an hour – or two – or….  After slipping the skins from a half dozen or so grapes, I headed for my computer determined to find a recipe for jam that did not require the grapes to be peeled.  Another 1/2 hour went by while I lost myself in reading dozens of grape jam recipes.  They were all quite delicious sounding, nevertheless, they were all similar in their first step – begin by peeling the grapes.  Really?  It’s 2012 and we can’t find a quicker way to homemade grape jam?

"Concord Grape Jam Recipe"

Maybe, just maybe, I was approaching this from the wrong perspective.  I needed to put some positive energy behind my jam making experience.  Harnessing the more Zen side of my personality, one by one I peeled those precious little dark purple spheres.  Once I released myself to the experience, it really was quite therapeutic.  After the peeling process, the rest of the recipe came together quite quickly.

"Concord Grape Jam Recipe"

Varying stages as the grapes cook down to a jam like consistency.

"Concord Grape Jam Recipe"

My favorite jam book these days is the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders.  I have made many recipes from her book.  Each one has resulted in an exceptional product.  Taking one of her classes has been on my bucket list since the day I got her book.  What a wealth of information she holds.  In addition, I think it would be fun “jamming” with a group of people.

"Concord Grape Jam Recipe""Concord Grape Jam Recipe""Concord Grape Jam Recipe"

For simplicity sake I have directed you to for the directions on sterilizing the jars.  If you are a seasoned jam maker you probably already know how to do this.  If you are a new-comer to the world of jam making you will appreciate the concise directions as given by Epicurious.  The ingredients and the instructions for making the jam are from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook.  I used less sugar than Blue Chair called for and my jam was plenty sweet.


Source:  Blue Chair Jam Book by Rachel Saunders


12 thoughts on “Concord Grape Jam

  1. I have never attempted grape jam. Peeling and seeding grapes would require more patience than cherry pitting! Although I can only imagine how intoxicating the bubbling jam smells and how scrumptious a scoop would taste on a warm buttery slice of toast! An inspiring post!

    • I probably won’t be making grape jam as frequently as other jams, however, when I do, I will plan my time a little more appropriately. Peeling all those grapes took me back to a younger time in my life when I would watch my grandmothers snap green beans. They never complained. It was all in a day’s work.

  2. Did you make the bread?

    I’m with Deb on the grape peeling – I am currently debating on whether I should pit my cherries for jam. I figured I could strain them out at the end. Couldn’t you cook the grapes and strain them in one of those canning, conical strainers?

    Also, I know what I want for Hanukkah – a series of jams. A grape, a plum, a marmelade….. Am I too bold for asking? xo

    • The bread was an Apricot loaf I picked up at a local French bakery. It was delicious! There are jam recipes where you cook the grapes whole and then then put it all through a food mill or chinois. However, I like the approach that Rachel Saunders uses because the skins remain in the finished jam. I think it adds more flavor that way. And, way to ruin a Hanukkah gift. 🙂

  3. The grape jam looks yummy! Please bring a jar home for me please. I can so appreciate the labor in making this since years ago I made a grape pie and will probably never again, although it was delicious. Once again, your photos are lovely!

    • I have a supply of my summer jams tucked into my luggage for safe delivery when I arrive home tomorrow. Can’t wait to see you and the rest of the family.

    • Russell, your approach seems so simple. If only I had found your post before peeling grapes for over an hour. And the doughnuts – with homemade jam! You have inspired me!!

  4. You inspired me. I was at the farmers market here in N.C. and muscadine grapes are in season so , I bought some and made jam with them. There are really easy to peel so I had some luck there. The jam turned out pretty good and I am going to use it on some goat cheese from the FM as well – so thanks for the post!