Concord Grape Jam Without Added Pectin

15 May

JAM: A flavorful gel always kept on the highest shelf in the pantry- Herve This, Kitchen Mysteries


Made this particular Grape jam recipe – not overtly sweet, beautifully tart, perfect to glamorize a cheesecake or to spread on fresh bread.

For most of my jam and jelly recipes, I use Pectin-simply ‘coz I do not want to lose any of the delicious fruit flavor or overcook the fruit to create a caramelized mass.

But this was a great recipe by jam expert Rachel Saunders The Blue Chair Jam Cook book
which has some fantastic jam, jelly and Marmalade recipes…would love to take one of her jam making classes someday. Amazing, the things she does with fruit…

The Lemon juice and the Orange juice in the recipe set the jello to a soft spread and I didn’t lose any of that delicate Grape flavor. Perfect, if you like your jam not excessively sweet (like some of the supermarket brands)… has a lovely purplish hue to it which would be even more intense if you were to use Concord Grapes which is what the recipe actually calls for..I used a hybrid variety.

Concord Grape Jam by Rachel Saunders, from the The Blue Chair Jam Cookbookreprinted with permission:


4 pounds stemmed Concord grapes(1800 gms/1.8 kgs)

2 1/2 pounds white cane sugar (1133 gms/1.13 kgs)

3 ounces strained freshly squeezed lemon juice (88.7 gms)

Very finely grated zest of 1/2 an orange

1/2 ounces strained freshly squeezed orange juice (15 gms)


Working directly over a small nonreactive saucepan, use your fingers to gently squeeze the flesh from each grape, being careful to catch all the grape juices in the pan. Set the skins aside in a large mixing bowl.

Over medium heat, bring the grape innards and juices to a simmer, cover, and cook until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately force as much of the pulp as possible through a fine-mesh strainer or chinois. Discard the seeds.

Add the sieved grape pulp, sugar, lemon juice, orange zest, and orange juice to the grape skins, stirring well. Transfer the mixture to an 11- or 12-quart copper preserving pan or a wide nonreactive kettle. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Continue to cook until done, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir very frequently during the cooking with a heatproof rubber spatula; if the jam starts sticking, lower the heat slightly. To avoid overcooking the jam, test it for doneness after 20 minutes of cooking.

When the jam is done, it will acquire a glossier sheen and will have a thicker, more luxurious look than it did initially.

To test, remove the jam from the heat and carefully transfer a small representative half-spoonful to one of your frozen spoons. Replace the cold spoon in the freezer for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove and carefully feel the underside of the spoon.

It should be neither warm nor cold; if still warm, return it to the freezer for a moment. Tilt the spoon vertically to see how quickly the jam runs; if it is reluctant to run, and if it has thickened to a spreadable consistency, it is done. If it runs quickly, cook it for another minute or two, stirring, and test again as needed.When the jam is ready, skim any white foam from its surface with a stainless-steel spoon.

These are some Jamming tips I’ve collected over the past years and may help if you are a first timer:

Unless using added pectin, use ¼ slightly under-ripe fruit and ¾ just ripe fruit. If you’re adding pectin, you may use all ripe fruit.

Prepare the fruit in small batches, enough for one recipe.

Sort the fruit, discarding all damaged portions.

Wash fruits, but do not remove skins or cores, since the pectin is more concentrated there.

Overcooking may break down the pectin and prevent proper setting.

Stir constantly to prevent burning.

Recipes are created for specific jar sizes.If jellies are put into larger jars, you may end up with an excessively soft product.

A jellied product must be processed in a boiling water bath to prevent mold growth. Wash containers in hot, soapy water and rinse. Sterilise by boiling 10 mins.
Then keep the containers in hot water until they are ready to be used.This will prevent breakage when they will be filled with the hot product. Once the product is
put in them, boil the jars for 5 minutes.

Follow manufacturer’s canning instructions.

Do not move the jellies 12 hrs after they have made, moving them can make the gel break down.

When done, the temp of the Jelly shd be at 220 degree F.

Place a metal spoon in each jar (this ensures that the glass jar will not crack when the hot jam is poured in).

Thanks for stopping by…

1 Comment

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Uncategorized


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One response to “Concord Grape Jam Without Added Pectin

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