We had the opportunity of picking Muscadines and a few Scuppernongs this past weekend. Picking grapes was a new experience for us and it was a very interesting field trip. I think the kids will have a much better understanding of the verses in the Bible that refer to the vine, vineyard and fruit. Anyway since we had the grapes we made jelly. It was simple and worked out very well.
- approximately 1 gallon of Muscadine Grapes
- ½ teaspoon of butter
- 7 cups of sugar or less if using light or sugar free Sure Jell
- 1 package of Sure Jell fruit pectin
Some recipes call for cutting the grapes in half. But we didn’t, most just burst on their own. If I found a grape that didn’t rupture I just stabbed it. We just brought the grapes, in a small amount of water, to a boil and then simmered for 20 minutes mashing the berries periodically as they cook.
Pour mixture into small gauged wire strainer or into a cheesecloth or jelly bag over a large bowl. Pressed gently. The harder you press the less clear the final product. The key is to not break down the seeds because that can cause bitterness.
Measure 5 cups of the juice into an 8-quart saucepan, if you have slightly less juice you can add a small amount of water or apple juice to get to 5 cups, muscadines have a strong flavor. Add ½ teaspoon of butter to reduce foaming and 1 package of Sure Jell fruit pectin. Stir in up to 7 cups of sugar (I used 4 cups and light Sure Jell in some) while bring to boil and allow to boil 1 minute while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Ladle quickly into clean hot jelly jars to within 1/8 inch of the top and cover with lids. Process in Water bath for 10 minutes.
Scuppernongs can be done the same way or you can mix the grapes. I like the Scuppernong Jelly the best!
Muscadines make a deep dark purple jelly and Scuppernongs make a lighter jelly, similar to apple in color. Mixed can be any color in between.
When I finished draining the juice from the skins and seeds in the first batches, I boiled the original three gallons (from three whole batches of jelly) of grape skins, pulp and seeds in a small amount of water again. This made enough juice to make a whole ‘nother batch of jelly. (Waste Not, Want Not – Benjamin Franklin, not the Bible. :))