Monday, September 16, 2013

Muscadine Jelly

Jodies Kitchen Muscadine Jelly

This Jelly looks delicious doesn't it.Well it is.
It has a perfect sweetness,with just the right amount of tart still left to it.
I must say this was a very time consuming process,due to me not having the proper equipment for juicing.I really had to go old school on this.If you have a food mill or a juicer I am sure the process would be a lot less time consuming.
This will be a long post with the best step by step directions for Juicing I can give.It honestly was my first time making this, with this type of Grape,and I am giving the method in this post.
If you have your favorite Jelly recipe you can use it.If not I simply used the recipe from the Sure-Jell Box.I will have the sure jell link posted at the bottom of the page.So grab a beverage and lets get started.

Yes it all started here with the Vines in my back yard. I had been picking for a couple of days until I thought I might have enough Muscadines.When I harvested them,I brought them in, and put directly into the refrigerator...NO washing until I got ready to make the Jelly.I harvest about a little over a  gallon to make the Batch I made.The recipe on the Sure Jell box I used called for 5 1/2 cups of juice.By the time some water was added during the process I had the right amount.

 I first started with rinsing my grapes and getting all the little stems off.I added them to a large pot,which I would cook in and also do the mashing in.If you notice in the pic,all these Muscadines are not perfectly ripe some are still red.The darker ones are at the perfect ripeness.I have Chickens however and I have to grab them up before they do.

The Juicing Process
The first step was to mash my washed grapes. I found mashing by hand was the easiest in a large bowl.I did start with a potato masher but quickly seen it would be easier to do this with clean hands,as to make sure I mash each and every one.Yes This is where a juicer or food mill could have come in handy.


I added one cup of water to the mashed grapes then I put on the stove and let simmer about 15 minutes.I did stir the pot several times during this..You want to make sure nothing is sticking and that there is enough juice not to burn..If you find you need a little more water you could add some..Remember this is just the first juicing,you will be doing this same step again Later.This pic is after they have cooked for the 15 minutes.

The next step of Juicing requires a colander and a large metal bowl in which I sat the colander down in to catch the juice as I stated to extract by hand..Again Juicers or food Mills would help make this easier.

Begin by placing small amounts of your cooked Grapes into the colander.Then start pressing with a large spoon mashing as much juice out as you can, until all the cooked grapes have been mashed.Don't worry if seeds go through the colander at this point.Don't discard what you have mashed.Put that into a large bowl,because it is going to be cooked again.

At this point I have mashed all the grapes through the colander.Notice the juice still coming out of the grape mush that was left.(Pic on Bottom) That is why we must cook this mush once more.I know but mush is the best I could do lol..

Now we must cook once more.I didnt even bother to wash the pot from the first cooking.I simply added the mushed grapes that had been strained in the colander back into the pot, added 1 cup of water and simmered once more for 15 minutes stirring the pot every so often.Then you will do the exact same process as before.Adding small batches of the cooked grapes into the colander and mashing,to get as much of the juice out as possible.

This is what your cooked smashed Grapes should look like after you have done 2 processes of cooking and pressing through the colander.At this point you wont use them any more.Almost there..One more step of Juicing before we can get to making the Jelly.Now I did not put this in the trash,It was put into a freezable container with water for my chickens to have a treat next summer.

 The next step is pretty easy.You will take all the juice that you have now and strain one more time.This time through something finer than the colander I used.As you can see I am using the same sifter I use to sift flour.It worked perfectly.I simply added the juice in small amounts and continued to press and swirl around with a spoon until I was left with nothing but juice.
Has this been a Labor of Love? Yes it has.But wait till you see what we have.

 Here we have it the Beuatiful juice from our Muscadines.
Now at this point you will be on your own.As I said earlier I used the recipe from the box of pectin I had..Brand is called Sure Jell..It is also going to depend which method of canning as to how much juice you will need and how much sugar is going to be added.Choose which recipe and method you want from your Brand of Pectin..or Family recipe.
Hey I got the Juice for you what more do you

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