Wild Muscadine Jelly

picture1206Wild muscadine grapes do not grow in my Northern climate, but I am fortunate to have family down South.  Dark purple, thick skinned and distinctly flavored muscadine grapes grow all over the wooded rural property where my sister and brother-in-law live.  When I feel jealous of the grapes, I remind myself that very big snakes live in those same woods!

picture1202On a recent trip up North, my sister gifted me with a gallon bag of frozen muscadines.  I retrieved them from the freezer last night, and turned those delicious purple grapes into ten jars of jelly.  The pint size people in my life gave the “monkey sandwiches” shown above (muscadine jelly, peanut butter, and a halved banana in a fresh bun) a hearty seal of approval.  If you prefer to enjoy grape jelly right out of the jar, well, picture1203that’s fine with me!

Ingredients (makes 10 half-pint jars, plus enough leftover for a few sandwiches)

1 gallon of muscadine grapes, washed and stems removed

water

picture12048 cups of sugar

1 box of pectin

Directions

Step 1) Place muscadine grapes in a large pot and cover – just barely – with water.

Step 2) Bring pot of grapes and water to a picture1208boil.  Gently mash grapes with a potato masher.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Step 3) Filter juice through a fine sieve into a large bowl.  When scooping grape pulp into the sieve, push gently (the back of a soup ladle works well) to extract as much juice as possible.  Discard pulp into your compost bin.

Step 4) Measure 8 cups of juice and add to a large pot.  Add box of pectin to the juice and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.

Step 5) Add 8 cups of sugar to the pot of boiling juice and pectin.  Stir to help sugar dissolve, and bring pot to another rolling boil.

Step 6) Allow jelly mixture to boil for one full minute, then remove from heat.

Step 7) Ladle jelly into half pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes, as described in our earlier canning instructions.  Enjoy!