Cooking Classes


Concord Grape Jam

It is that time of the year again!  I have been doing a lot of canning and will be sharing more recipes.  Today it was Concord Grape Jam.  I could have made beautiful clear jelly but I wanted a change.  This was a little fussy to make.  First, peeling grapes!  I eventually just squeezed and the innards popped out.  It was still a tad tedious though.  

But the results are wonderful.  The jam has somewhat of a floral flavour and aroma that you do not achieve when making the jelly.  I will be looking for some ideas on serving this.  Do you have any? 

Concord Grape Jam

Gourmet Magazine, October 2005
  • 5 lb Concord grapes, stemmed
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Sterilize jars:
Wash jars, lids, and screw bands in hot, soapy water, then rinse well. Dry screw bands. Put jars on a rack in canner or deep pot and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, covered, then boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, leaving jars in water. Heat lids in water to cover by 2 inches in a small saucepan until thermometer registers 180°F (do not let boil). Remove from heat, leaving lids in water. Keep the jars and lids submerged in hot water, covered, until ready to use.
Cook jam:
Chill 2 small plates (for testing jam).
Slip skins from grapes and purée skins with 1 cup sugar in a food processor, then transfer to a 4- to 6-quart wide heavy pot. Stir in lemon juice, peeled grapes, and remaining 4 cups sugar and boil over moderate heat, stirring frequently and skimming foam, until pulp is broken down, about 20 minutes. Force jam through food mill set over a large bowl. Discard remaining solids. Return jam to pot and cook at a slow boil, skimming foam occasionally and stirring frequently as mixture thickens to prevent scorching, 35 minutes, then test for doneness.
To test jam, remove from heat, then drop a teaspoonful on a chilled plate and chill 1 minute. Tilt plate: Jam should remain in a mound and not run. If jam runs, continue cooking at a slow boil, testing every 5 minutes, until done, up to 25 minutes more.
Seal, process, and store jars:
Drain jars upside down on a clean kitchen towel 1 minute, then invert. Ladle jam into jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at top. Wipe off rims of filled jars with a clean damp kitchen towel, then top with lids and firmly screw on screw bands. Put sealed jars on rack in canner or pot and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, covered, then boil 10 minutes. With tongs, transfer jars to a towel-lined surface to cool.
Jars will seal; if you hear a ping, it signals that vacuum formed at the top of cooling preserves has made lid concave. Remember that you may or may not be around to hear that ping (some jars make the sound after you remove them from water, and others in same batch may take a few hours); the important thing is for jars to eventually have concave lids. Preserves will thicken as they cool.
After jars have cooled 12 to 24 hours, press center of each lid to check that it's concave, then remove screw band and try to lift off lid with your fingertips. If you can't, lid has a good seal. Replace screw band. Put any jars that haven't sealed properly in the refrigerator and use them first.


  1. Oh my, this post brought back memories of me and my mom making concord grape jam. (She made concord grape pies too!) You're right, it is a bit time-consuming, the results are soooo worth it.

  2. Yum! That looks sooo good! I adore jam! Especially on homemade bread! I would eat this on a bagel with cream cheese before I went to bed tonight! Angie xo

  3. Mags> I am looking forward to trying this in some interesting ways. Grape pies! I am sure my father would love that. He loves raisin pies.

    Angie> great idea. Had not thought of that. I'll have to look for some bagels.

  4. what an interesting tip, peeling the grapes then using the peels again, then discarding all of this to preserve only the fresh pulp; I bet your jam tastes wonderful and a far dry from what is out there!
    I will keep in mind your suggestion of the Lebanon tour. My English cousin who visited recently told me I should as well!

  5. ah, canning. it's such a task, but buddy, i sure am glad i've done it when the dead of winter comes and i'm craving dilly beans. :) this is gorgeous jam!

  6. Joumana> the pectin is in the skins and seeds so it is necessary for jelling that they be used. I almost omitted the food mill step, but I am glad I didn't.

    Grace> it is a labour of love.

  7. I made jam a couple of years back, and am considering doing so again this year (remember the grape vines eating my suburban? Yes, Concord grapes). It's amazing to me that the insides of the grapes are green, and it took the skin to turn the jam purple. It's also amazing how easy it is to make jam.

  8. I just don't know if I can wait that long... I love those concord grapes and pop them all day long. They are wicked pricey here 5 pounds would be a lot! Still, having the taste all year long is a pretty big inducement to do it. Great recipe, sarah!!!

  9. What a beautiful jam! My mother used to make grape jam...we'd collect them for her. We loved grape jam with mac and cheese. Don't ask me why!
    Weird child stuff. :)

  10. Marjie> yes, now I remember those killer vines!

    Deana> I just love them, too. I actually bought 2 lbs and can't remember the price. They are grown in British Columbia so not expensive for us.

    Barbara> that is definitely unique! Don't think I'll be tryin' it anytime soon!

  11. Serving Grape Jam: In my perfect world, Homemade Jams are served in lovely jam pots (one for each person). To enjoy, I scoop one heaping teaspoon for each bite of crisp toast. No less than a spoonful because I am having toast with my jam!
    Lovely photos!


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