Grape Jam with Orange Essence

With a six gallon bucket full of nothing but de-stemmed grapes, I set about making grape jelly and jam.

We estimated that we picked a total of 45 lbs. of grapes.

Our grapes were a mixture of Mars, Concord, and Niagra and just from tasting the mix together, I knew it would make some great preserves.    I referred back to The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook and adapted Rachel’s recipe for “Concord Grape Jam.”

Grape Jam with Orange Essence
Adapted from “Concord Grape Jam” from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook

4 lbs. stemmed grapes (yields about six cups of pulp)
2 1/2 lbs. sugar
3 oz. fresh lemon juice, strained
1/2 T. fresh orange zest
1 oz. fresh orange juice

Place grapes in a large kettle.

Mash the grapes with a potato masher. (Please don’t stomp them with your feet.)

Use a potato masher to mash grapes.

Nice and juicy and this smells delicious.

Over medium heat, bring the grapes to a simmer, cover and cook for about 3-5 minutes until soft.

Now you are ready to spoon the mixture into a chinois.

Press pulp through a fine-mesh strainer or chinois.   Discard skins and seeds.  You should be left with a somewhat thick pulp.

The discarded skins and seeds are great for composting!   (This chinois is an heirloom from my grandmother.)

Add the grape pulp, sugar, lemon juice, orange zest, and orange juice to a kettle.

Bring to a boil

Bring to a boil over high heat stirring often.    Continue to cook until done, 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently.    When the jam is “jammy looking” meaning it will become glossy, shiny, and thick, it is done.

Skim off any foam.   Pour jam into sterilized jars, add lid flats and tighten rings.   Process in a water-bath for 10 minutes.

I got seven 8-oz. jars.

This is a very sweet jam with just a hint of citrus.   It is to die for on peanut butter!

Now, granted I used a whole 4 lbs. of grapes for this recipe.    We had a lot leftover to do something else with.


Stay tuned for a vintage family recipe for grape jelly and for some wine making!  🙂


For other Blue Chair Jam Cookbook recipes, see Peach Marmalade and Nectarine Jam with Candied Ginger.

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