Mmm! I wish you could smell it in here right now. Homemade Concord grape jelly! There is no comparison between it and store bought jelly. It's just the best. Yes, it's a lot of work, but the end result is so worth it! So far I am up to 45 half pints and I STILL have grapes on hand to use up! (Think Christmas gifts!) The Lord really blessed me this year with a huge bounty of grapes.
If you've never taken the time to learn how to make jelly, you really should try it, just once, even if it's just to say you've done it. Your kids will love you for it!
CONCORD GRAPE JELLY
3 lb Concord grapes (3 lbs equals about 3 1/2 cups of grapes)
7 cups white sugar
1 pouch Certo liquid pectin
*SPECIAL NOTE* Do not try to make more than one batch at a time in your pan. Your jelly won't turn out right. Yes, I speak from experience.
Prepare your jelly jars by washing and rinsing them in hot water. Sterilize your lids and bands in boiling hot water as well.
First, gather your grapes. If you have a bounty, be sure to share. Invite some friends or family to come and pick with you. I gathered what I thought I needed, and then Wednesday night after prayer meeting, I turned people loose on the vines. The teens were picking bags full for any adult that wanted grapes. It was nice to find a home for some of them, rather than seeing them go to waste.Next, sort, discard stems, and wash your grapes. Place 3 lbs (about 3 1/2 cups) of your washed grapes in a large dutch oven. Pour in 1/2 cup hot water and bring to a boil.As soon as your grapes start boiling, they will start creating lots of juice and the skins will slip off of them easily. At this point, crush them with a potato masher or ricer.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place a food mill over a glass bowl and carefully pour in 1/2 of your grape juice mixture. Process through the food mill until only pulp remains in the mill and the juice is in the bottom bowl. Pour remaining 1/2 of grape juice mixture into food mill and process again. Discard pulp from mill. Measure out 4 cups of the prepared juice from the bowl. Place juice into a clean dutch oven along with 7 cups of sugar. Stir to combine and bring to a full rolling boil. Stir in 1 pouch of Certo liquid pectin. Return to a boil and boil for 1 minute exactly, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Skim off foam with a metal spoon. Ladle hot jelly quickly into prepared, hot jars. Wipe jar rim and threads clean and cover with 2 piece lid and ring. Screw band on tightly. Place jars in canner (I just used one of my dutch ovens. The jars fit perfectly in it). Cover with hot water. Bring to a boil and process for 5 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. If the lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary. Retighten bands and store in a cool dry place.