Quick review: jam is made with the whole fruit, jelly is made from the juice of the fruit. This is my favorite ever Concord jam recipe–it’s like grocery store grape jelly on whole food steroids–less sugar, and the full flavor of ALL of the grape.
Small Batch Concord Grape Jam
- 8 Cups Concord grapes (about 2 lbs)
- 5 Cups granulated sugar (white)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon neutral oil (sunflower, canola)
- 12 4 oz jelly jars for canning (if canning)
- Prepare canning equipment if planning to preserve: Wash jars + lids/bands.
- Prep the grapes: wash grapes and remove from stems. Pinch each grape between your fingers, catching the pulp in one bowl and placing the skins in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse grape skins in food processor until they are well chopped (think about how big you want the pieces of grape skins in your jam). Place chopped grape skins in a medium pot with a 1/4 cup of water; bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes.
- In another small saucepan, bring the grape pulp to a boil, then simmer for ten minutes. The grapes will lose their shape and look somewhat like applesauce. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl–you want as much pulp as possible, but not the seeds.
- Pour the pulp into the pot with the skins; add sugar, lemon juice, and oil. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring often, for 45 minutes. This is where the magic happens. Turn off heat and let stand 5 minutes.
- While the jam is jamming, place jelly jars in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover jars. Bring water to a boil, then turn off to keep jars warm. Place bands + lids in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil, then turn off to keep warm.
- If not preserving, pour jam into jars for storing in refrigerator. I still recommend pre-heating jars to sterilize them before adding the jam. Let jam cool at room temp for an hour or two before refrigerating.
- If preserving: remove jars from hot water, ladle jam into jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipe rims, then place lid + secure bands by giving them one good twist (not too tight! just ‘fingertip tight’). Place jars on a rack in a canning pot and fill pot with water to cover completely with at least 1 inch of water atop the jars. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat slightly to maintain rolling boil for ten minutes. Turn off heat, remove pot lid, and rest jars in hot water for 5 minutes. Remove jars to cooling rack (I use a couple layers of towels on a cookie sheet), and allow to rest for 12 hours. Label, and store for up to a year.