A few years ago I stumbled upon a well-kept secret of jam makers and lunch ladies. Its deliciousness only rivals it's ease. I was a bit skeptical as my preserving/jamming/canning skills were more or less non-existant at the time, but I became a believer. I was floored how this was not all over the internet and pinned on every page. This recipe, although seemingly guarded, was not for jam/jelly/preserve afficiandos or experts, it was for people who have no idea how to make them. People like me who beg and bribe their jammer friends for jars or lovingly pick up Bon Mamman.
Ladies, Gentleman and children of all ages, I bring you: Concord Grape Jelly.
Every year when concord grapes come into season, I pick up a few pints and make this simple jam to last me through a few months. Best part? It has 2 ingredients and takes maybe 30 minutes. Wondering why there's no pectin? Grapes naturally have pectin so it's not really necessary to add it, making it the easiest jelly in the world to make.
It starts with a ratio, for every pound of concord grapes (without stems) = 1 cup of sugar. So for this purpose, I'll go off of the recipe that I made the other day from grapes I bought at the Calicoon, NY Farmers Market-- Red.
Easy Grape Jelly Makes approximately 12 oz
1 1/2 pounds Concord Grapes, well-cleaned and picked off stems. 1 1/2 cups Sugar
Place the grapes in a medium-sized saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the grapes have turned into mostly juice and only skins are left over. Be sure to make sure that the grapes don't burn or that the juice reduces.
Strain the grape skins and juice through a fine sieve into a medium bowl, pressing down with a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure all the juice is out (but that the seeds and skins do not get through).
Pour the grape juice back into the original saucepan and add sugar. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the jelly thickens and can coat the back of a spoon.
Place in sanitized canning jars (you can boil jars and tops in boiling water, or do it the lazy--ie: genius way-- and conveniently run the dishwasher right before you begin your jam so that the jars are clean and properly sanitized by the time the jam is done) and tighten the lids.
In a large stock pot filled with boiling water, submerge the jars and boil 5 minutes. This will seal the jars so that they can be stored for future use.
If you have no time or patience for canning, make a small batch of jam and use immediately to prevent molding/bacteria/food illness.