Farm To Table

Concord Grape Jelly

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Few things can rival the joy of spreading homemade grape jelly on a warm slice of toast or using it as a delightful condiment for various dishes.

Jars of grape jelly on a white board with white and purple grapes.Pin
Concord Grape Jelly

Concord grape jelly, in particular, carries a unique blend of tart and sweet flavors that can elevate your culinary creations to a new level. The best part? You can make this delectable jelly at home with just a handful of ingredients and a little time and effort.

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In this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of crafting your very own batch of homemade Concord grape jelly, allowing you to savor the rich flavors of ripe grapes long after the harvest season has passed.

Bunches of white and purple concord grapes.Pin
Concord Grapes

Why should you make it?

1. Unparalleled Freshness:

There is nothing quite like the taste of freshly picked, ripe Concord grapes. When you make grape jelly, you have complete control over the quality of the grapes you use. Opt for fresh, locally sourced, organic grapes so you capture them at the peak of their flavor.

2. Tailored to Your Taste:

Customize it to suit your taste preferences. Adjust the sweetness and tartness level or experiment with other flavors, like citrus zest or vanilla.

3. Chemical-Free Goodness:

Homemade jelly allows you to forego the artificial additives and preservatives in many store-bought varieties. There are just four simple ingredients in this yummy jelly.

4. A Burst of Nostalgia:

The aroma that fills your kitchen while making Concord grape jelly is nothing short of nostalgic. I remember my grandmother’s kitchen.

5. Culinary Creativity:

Beyond just spreading it on toast, homemade grape jelly can be a versatile ingredient in your culinary repertoire.

What you need

  • Grapes – You can really use any tart grape variety. Purple or White Concord grapes, or a wine grape, like Niagara will all work.
  • Sugar – use white sugar, honey, maple syrup, or a sugar substitute. Note: If you choose not to use white sugar, use a low-sugar pectin.
  • Pectin – Classic pectin, or see the note above if you want to use low-sugar pectin. Pectin is not technically necessary but makes cooking the jelly down faster.
Sugar, pectin and grapes on a white board.Pin
Ingredients for grape jelly.

How to make it

Step One

Wash the grapes well (organic grapes can have a whole host of creatures that call the cluster home). Remove each grape from the stem. Squeeze them into a large pot. Crush them with a potato masher or similar tool.

Washing fresh grapes in a colander.Pin
Wash them well.

Step Two

Bring the grapes and a bit of water to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes with the pan covered.

Mashing grapes with a potato masher.Pin
Mash the grapes with a potato masher.

Step Three

Strain the pulp, skin, and seeds out using a jelly sock or a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Let it strain for a couple of hours.

Straining out the juice with cheesecloth.Pin
Strain the juice.

Step Four

Pour the grape juice into a large pot. Add the pectin and the sugar and stir constantly to incorporate it. Heat up the juice to boiling over high heat.

Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. (One that can’t be stirred down.) Boil for one minute.

Sugar added to the juice.Pin
Add the pectin and sugar.

Step Five

Skim off foam, if needed.

Step Six

Immediately ladle the hot jelly into warmed canning jars, leaving a ¼-inch headspace.

Filling a jar with a canning funnel Pin
Ladle hot jam into sterilized jars.

Step Six

Remove bubbles, and wipe the rims of the jars with a damp towel to remove debris. Center the lid. Screw on the band fingertip tight.

Process for 5 minutes in your water bath canner.

Wiping the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel.Pin
Wipe the jar rims clean.

Get the canner water hot, and add the filled jars. Once the water is boiling, set the timer.

Once processing time is done, remove the pot from the heat, carefully open the lid, and move it partially off the top of the canning pot. Let it rest like that for 5 minutes.

Then, remove the lid and allow the jars to rest in the canning pot for another 5 to 10 minutes.

After resting, remove the jars onto a kitchen towel placed on your counter and let them thoroughly cool for 12-24 hours, undisturbed. You may hear the lids pinging sometime in the next hour. This is music to a canner’s ears. It is due to the reaction of the lids being sealed to the jar.

Check the seals. Press down in the middle of the lid. If it flexes up or down, the jar is not sealed and should be refrigerated and used first.

Then, remove the bands. Gently pick the jar up by the lid to further check the seal. Again, if it is not sealed, use it first.

Label jars with contents and the date. Store in a cool dark place.

PRO TIP: If you don’t have time to make multiple batches of jelly, can the juice. You can make large batches of grape juice and then make smaller batches of jelly any time throughout the year.

Peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich assembled.Pin

Unique uses for grape jelly

Grape jelly is a versatile condiment that can be used in various sweet and savory dishes. Here are some creative and delicious ways to use grape jelly:

1. Spread on Toast or Bread:

  • The classic use of grape jelly is as a spread on toast, bagels, muffins, or fresh bread. Pair it with butter or cream cheese for added richness.

2. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich:

  • Create the iconic PB&J sandwich by spreading grape jelly between two slices of peanut butter-slathered bread.

3. Glaze for Meats:

  • Use grape jelly as a glaze for meats like pork chops, chicken, or meatballs. Combine it with other ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, and vinegar for a sweet and tangy glaze.

4. Condiment for Cheese Platters:

  • Serve grape jelly alongside a cheese platter. It pairs wonderfully with cheeses like brie, camembert, or sharp cheddar.

5. Dip for Chicken Tenders or Nuggets:

  • Make a quick and tasty dip for chicken tenders or nuggets by mixing grape jelly with a bit of Dijon mustard and a splash of hot sauce.

6. Jelly-Filled Pastries:

  • Inject grape jelly into pastries like doughnuts, Danish pastries, or jelly-filled cookies for a sweet surprise.

7. Salad Dressing:

  • Create a unique salad dressing by mixing grape jelly with vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. It adds a sweet and tangy element to your salads.

8. Marinades:

  • Use grape jelly as a base for marinades for grilled chicken, pork, or tofu. Combine it with herbs, spices, and a bit of oil for extra flavor.

9. Dessert Topping:

  • Drizzle grape jelly over ice cream, cheesecake, pancakes, waffles, or yogurt for a fruity and sweet topping.

10. Cocktail Mixer:

  • Add a spoonful of grape jelly to cocktails like martinis or spritzers for a unique and fruity twist.

11. Thumbprint Cookies:

  • Make thumbprint cookies by adding grape jelly to the center of cookie dough balls before baking. It creates a sweet and gooey filling.

12. Glazed Vegetables:

  • Mix grape jelly with a touch of butter and use it as a glaze for roasted or grilled vegetables like carrots or Brussels sprouts.

13. Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • Combine grape jelly with vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger to create a homemade sweet and sour sauce for stir-fries or dipping spring rolls.

14. Meatloaf or Meatball Binder:

  • Use grape jelly as a binder in meatloaf or meatball recipes to add moisture and a hint of sweetness. OR use it as a glaze for meatloaf and as a sauce for cocktail meatballs.

Experiment with these ideas to discover your favorite ways to use grape jelly. Its sweet and fruity flavor can enhance both sweet and savory dishes, making it a versatile ingredient in your kitchen.

Helpful Tools

More jams and jellies

Making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with grape jelly.Pin
Grape Jelly

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

Binky's signature
Jars of grape jelly with fresh grapesPin

Grape Jelly

Few things can rival the joy of spreading homemade grape jelly on a warm slice of toast or using it as a delightful condiment for various dishes.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: canning, Condiment, jam
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Canning time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 96 tablespoons
Calories: 22kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $6

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Prepare canning jars and lids by washing and heating them before starting the jelly. Get your canning pot on the stove.
  • Wash the grapes well (organic grapes can have a whole host of creatures that call the cluster home). Remove each grape from the stem. Squeeze them into a large pot. Crush them with a potato masher or similar tool.
  • Bring the grapes and a bit of water to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes with the pan covered.
    3 cups grape juice, 1 cup water
  • Strain the pulp, skin, and seeds out using a jelly sock or a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Let it strain for a couple of hours.
  • Pour the grape juice into a large pot. Add the pectin and stir constantly to incorporate it. Heat up the juice to boiling over high heat. Boil for one minute.
    3 tablespoons low sugar pectin
  • Add the sugar. Bring the mixture back to a full rolling boil. (One that can’t be stirred down.) Boil for another full minute. Skim off foam, if needed.
    2 cups Sugar
  • Ladle the hot jelly into hot jars leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove bubbles if necessary.
  • Wipe the rim of the jars clean with a damp paper towel to remove any debris.
  • Center the lid on the jar. Screw on the bands fingertip tight.
  • Process jars for 5 minutes, adjusting for altitude. After processing is complete, let jars rest in the hot water for at least 5 minutes so that they cool slowly. This will eliminate siphoning.
  • Remove jars to the counter and leave undisturbed for 12-24 hours until fully cooled. Check seals.
    Store jars in a cool, dark place for at least one year.
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Notes

Makes six half pints.
You can make a full-sugar version by substituting classic pectin and increasing the sugar to 5 cups.
Pro Tips
  • Since the jelly is processed for less than 10 minutes, you should use sterilized jars.
  • This recipe is fine for a water bath canner.
Ways to use it
  • Grape jelly is delicious on toast or a bagel with butter. It will transport you back to spring in the middle of winter.
  • It makes an amazing peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  • Top a cracker or English muffin with some cream cheese and a dab of jelly.
  • Use it as a condiment for your grazing platters. It’s especially good with soft cheeses like brie, camembert, goat cheese, or queso fresco.
  • Use it as a filling for cookies, cakes, and cupcakes. 
  • Make a glaze for meats, such as pork or chicken.
  • See more inspiration in the article above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 0.03g | Fat: 0.03g | Saturated Fat: 0.002g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.002g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.03mg
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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Nothing beats concord grape jelly! I feel like it’s exactly what jelly should taste like. It’s so nostalgic. Thank you 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I had no idea it was so easy to make your own grape jelly at home! This turned out perfectly and actually tasted even better than store bought!! We enjoyed it on some peanut butter toast and it was delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    My kids eat jelly all the time and the ingredients on store-bought honestly scare me a little for them. I used this recipe and it is amazing! I feel better about their PB&Js and the kids actually like it better too!

    1. We’re so glad that you liked it! We just adore it. Somehow, we never get enough concords to keep us going through the year.

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