|Concord grapes picked fresh from the vines.|
We sat as the evening sun went down and visited awhile before heading back. It was a very nice evening. Thanks to the Shirley's we will have grape jelly to share this year.
You will need Concord Grapes, colander, pan for washing, slotted spoon, large heavy bottomed kettle with lid, potato masher, cheese cloth, and twine.
Note: About 3 1/2 pounds of grapes will yield 4 cups of juice. (Ball Blue Book)
The first thing necessary is to pick all of the grapes from the stems and debris and give them a good rinse in cool clean water. I don't leave them to soak, just a good swish and then out. I did two batches as I did not want to over fill my kettles and have a boil over.
|Mashing is easily done in batches with a potato masher.|
Cover the pan and simmer the grapes until the fruit is soft. Gather several layers of clean cheese cloth and lay them across a large bowl. Carefully pour the fruit and juice into the cheese cloth lined bowl.
|I have hung 2 cheese cloth bags of cooked grapes to drain into bowls.|
I hang the bags by the handles of my upper kitchen cabinets over large bowls. My house is quite cool with our air conditioning and I leave it 12-24 hours.
The "Ball Blue Book" advises that the juice may be used fresh, canned, or frozen for later use. To prevent formation of tartrate crystals in grape jelly, the juice should stand in a cool place for 12 to 24 hours. Strain again through damp cheese cloth to remove any crystals that may have formed.
Tomorrow I shall perhaps make grape jelly! Or if not I will store the precious juice in Mason Jars in the refrigerator or the freezer.