It was one of those last minute things that ended up being both awesome and horrible. I was at work when I saw Petersen Family Farm’s post that they had 25 pound boxes of concord grapes now available in their farm shop. I was distraught, because I was at work late that day and had no way of getting to the farm. I asked my husband if he minded driving out to the farm after work, since I wasn’t going to be home until 7 PM anyways. Of course he went, because he loves Concord grape jam more than I do. What was suppose to take him 30 minutes to drive to the farm, took him 2 hours in the traffic. I got home before he even made it to Petersen’s. He got the absolute last box they had for the day! Victory. So thankful that my hubby got this box, because now we have perfect jars of Concord grape jam. I continued to use my miraculous 1:2 ratio for sugar to fruit and again it didn’t let me down. We now have 6 months worth of grape jam. Welp!
Low Sugar, No Pectin Concord Grape Jam
- 10-12 pounds concord grapes, washed and removed from the stem
- granulated sugar, 1/2 of the weight of the grapes [see note below] (about 1,600 grams / 8 cups)
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Prepare water bath canner, jars, and lids. Don’t forgot to add 1/2 cup vinegar to canner water to keep your bottles looking nice.
- Place the grapes in a large stock pot of medium-high heat. Let the grapes pop and release their juices.
- Once the grapes have cooked a little, put them through a food mill (I used the medium setting on my OXO food mill). This will remove the seeds and any stems left on grapes. Bonus!
- Transfer the fruit to a large shallow sauté pan (or electric skillet), add the sugar and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer until the jam reaches desired gelling stage. Because I used a shallow electric skillet, it took me only about 30-45 minutes to reach the desired gelling stage.
- Once you have obtained desired gelling point, remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Skim foam off if necessary.
- Remove from the heat and ladle the jam into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch headroom.
- Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
- Place jars in canner and return to a boil. Process for 5 minutes (0 – 1,000 feet elevation), 10 minutes (1,001 – 6,000 feet elevation), and 15 minutes (6,001 – 8,000 feet elevation).
- Turn off heat, remove canner lid and let jars sit in the hot water for another 10 minutes. This will prevent too much of the jam from pushing itself out the lids as it is cooling.
- Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let stand until completely cool, about 24 hours.
- Check lids and refrigerate any jars that are not sealed.
- I got approximately 16 cups of grape fruit and juice once the grapes ran through the food mill. Going on the assumption that a pint equals a pound, that’s 8 pounds (3,600 grams). Conveniently, when I divided that number by 2 and got 1,800 grams needed for sugar, I tested it out and that weight turned out to equal 8 cups of sugar. I love when the math works out. So you can use either weight in grams or volume to determine how much sugar you need.
- This jam doesn’t cook much, so it can be somewhat “loose,” or liquid-y. If you cook it too long, you’ll lose some of the very fresh flavor. Accept the looseness and enjoy the flavor! The jam thickened up really nice for me and spreads really well.
- Use the widest and most shallow pan you have, the deeper the pan the longer you will have to cook your jam. It’ll be easier to reach your gelling stage with a wider pan.
- And finally, do NOT double this recipe!!