We are lucky to have a Concord grape vine in our backyard, and every year it puts forth some beautiful, grape-y smelling bounty toward the end of summer. This year I was bound and determined to get it before the birds ate all of the harvest, and make some freezer jam. (Sorry, the hot-water bath canning process isn’t for me – I melt down in the kitchen). So I toodled around the internet, as you do, and came across an interesting idea to separate the skins from the seeds and food process them to add them back into the jam before canning it. I liked this notion, and thought it would help amp up the Concord grape taste of the jam. It was tedious work, but I managed (while watching the marathon finale of Hotel Hell on my DVR) and cooked and strained the grape juice, then processed the skins with a little sugar and added them back into the juice/pulp.
After that I followed the Sure-Jell recipe (not wanting to poison anyone and have Gordon Ramsay show up in my kitchen) and now have 16 jars of jam waiting on the counter for 24 hours before going into the freezer. Sure-Jell says it takes a week to set, so I will have to wait a bit to give you the follow-up on whether the extra steps were worth it. I can tell you the jam is organic and local, traveling just a few yards to my kitchen!
Jeanne & Jim at the
Thomas Shepherd Inn B&B in Shepherdstown, WV