Friday, September 27, 2013

Muscadine Jelly

A friend of ours brought me some muscadine Grapes which I happily turned into juice using my steam juicer.  Tonight I decided to turn some of that beautiful pink juice into jelly.


Here's a little information about the coveted muscadine grape before we get started.

Common Names: Muscadine, Bullace, Scuppernong, Southern Fox Grape.

Origin: The muscadine grape is native to the southeastern United States, found in the wild from Delaware to the Gulf of Mexico and westward to Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Many older varieties were selections from the wild, but the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture have introduced a number of improved varieties that have become standard cultivars. The earliest named variety was Scuppernong, found growing wild in northeastern North Carolina in 1810 by Dr. Calvin Jones. Scuppernong has become another name for all muscadine grapes. Commercial production of muscadine grapes is essentially limited to the U.S. Southeast.

Now let's make some jelly.  You will need the following items.  Yields 7 half pint jars.

Water Bath Canner
Jar lifter
Magnet for lifting lids
Jars, Lids and Rings
Towels and other misc canning supplies
4 1/2 cups of grape juice
5 cups of sugar
7 tbsp. of Ball Classic Pectin or 1 box and 1 tbsp. of Sure Jel
2 tbsp. of bottled lemon juice
1 pat of butter (This is optional, it will reduce foaming)

Fill your canner about 1/2 full with water or enough to cover jars by 1 to 2 inches.  Put your jars in the canner and turn on the heat to let them sterilize while you are making the jelly.  Put your lids and rings in a pot and bring them to a hot simmer.  Turn off the heat and let them set in the hot water until you are ready for them.  (Note:  New lids can be washed in hot soapy water and set aside until ready to use)

Measure your sugar and set it aside.

Mix your pectin with about 1/4 cups of the sugar that you have pre measured. This helps it not to clump when you add it to the juice.

Put Juice, Butter, Lemon Juice and Pectin in a medium/large stainless steel pot.  Stir together and bring to a rolling boil that can't be stirred down. 

Add your sugar all at once.  Bring back to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly one minute.

Remove from heat and skim off any foam that has formed. 

Immediately fill your hot jars with jelly leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe rims well with a paper towel dipped in white vinegar or hot water.  Put on lids and rings and tighten down finger tight.

Place filled jars in canner, ensuring jars are covered by 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner. Bring water to gentle, steady boil.

Process jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid and let jars stand in canner for 5 more minutes.

 Remove jars from canner and place on counter to cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. Clean and store jars in a cool, dark place.

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