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Zesty Grape Jelly

August 31, 2011

A few weeks ago, Mom and Dad visited my aunt in Florida and returned with bags of Mangoes and Wild Concord Grapes. Deemed wild because my Great Grandfather once had a vineyard of Concord Grapes that has since been forgotten. But amidst yard work and thick jungle weeds, they found a fruit-baring tree!

While the mangoes were quickly and ravenously devoured by yours truly, the grapes were pretty small and had a lot of seeds, so they weren’t especially great for eating. So one afternoon, Mom and I decided to try our hand at some grape jelly. We found a recipe in Summer in a Jar: Making Pickles, Jams and More. We ended up with six yummy jars of Zesty Grape Jelly.

Zesty Grape Jelly:

7 cups grapes

2 cups mashed ripe pears

1 cup water

2 jalapeños, seeded and diced

1 cup craisins or raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp coriander seeds

7 cups sugar

2 packets Certo (gel pectin)


Peel the grapes (if you squeeze the top, the seeds/meat should come out) place skins in separate bowl, but do not discard. Put grape pulp into a medium pot and add 1 cup water. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5 minutes (this breaks up the grapes and releases the seeds). Remove from heat and pour over a sieve to strain out the seeds. You can use a spoon to stir the mixture and get most of the pulp into a bowl. Mash pears (we used a potato masher) and dice jalapeños. Place grape skins in a large pot, add enough water to cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 or so minutes until skins are soft, remove from heat and add jalapenos, pears, grape juice and spices. Place pot back on high heat and bring to boil. Add sugar all at once and wait for a fast boil. Add Certo and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, ladle into jars and process

Mmmmm. Grape Jelly is one of my favorites. You just can’t go wrong with traditional. This jelly has a bit of a zing to it with the jalapeños cooked in. It is sooo delicious! The only problem we had was that it didn’t seem to want to set right away. But it has been in the pantry for about a month now and is setting up nicely.

It made quite a lot, which is fortunate because I wouldn’t really call it and easy recipe. Although I am not sure jelly can really be easy. This particular afternoon, recovering from a minor finger surgery and could not really get my hand dirty. So Mom was left with the seeding of the grapes. She complained a lot. And I don’t blame her. I would like to add that I sat by for moral support. Anyways, if you’re in the mood for lots of grape jelly, or if you have a lot of grapes, I would definitely recommend this recipe!


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