I have taken the last of our grapes from the vine to make into jelly. This time of year (mid September) it is a bit of a race for the grapes between me and hornets. We have a large patio and when we moved in just over 9 years ago, we planted 2 vines and trained them over the patio to give some cover from the summer sun, and very well it works too. But when I am standing on a stepladder picking bunches of grapes it is a little unnerving to have hornets buzzing around. They look mighty impressive and they do command my respect, but I have to say that they are not as aggressive as ordinary little wasps, and generally as long as you don’t wave at them they seem to go past you. But there are a lot of hornets around here. More so than ordinary wasps. And we also have what I call dangley-leg wasps, that dangle their legs when flying, but again they seem quite benign, not at all aggressive.
Anyway – Grape Jelly, an easy clear jam to make that has, in my case with our black grapes, a deep purple hue.
This is a recipe using 1kg (2 1/4lbs) of grapes, although the weight of grapes is not important, it is the volume of juice that you yield. So for this quantity of grapes you will get approximately 800gms (1 3/4lb) of finished jelly.
This will keep for a year in a cool place, although we recently had a jar of jam that was 4 years old, and it was very nice too.
1kg (2.2lbs) of black grapes
For every 500ml/16 fl. oz/2 cups of grape juice, you need
675gm/1 1/2lb/3 1/4 cups sugar
100gm/3 1/2 fl. oz/1/2 cup of liquid pectin or equivalent dry pectin
Juice of freshly squeezed lemon
In a large pan crush the grapes and then bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes until soft.
Use a stick blender to turn them into a fine slurry.
Spoon into a jelly bag and allow to drip overnight for at least 12 hours.
Measure the juice into a large pan, calculate how much of the other ingredients you need and add the lemon and sugar.
If you are using dry pectin you should add it at this stage.
If using liquid pectin add it when you have heated up the mixture and all the sugar is dissolved.
Boil vigorously for 5 minutes and test for a set on a saucer kept in the freezer for 5 minutes.
When you have achieved a set, bottle up in clean dry hot screw lid jars.