Grape Jelly for the pantry

So, I promised a canning post for water bath canning. I’m so slow. 🙂

We have went from kind of busy, to whoa slow down. Things are starting to pop in the garden and trying to get them in and eaten (or put up if there’s enough) and taking care of the animals and the mom and the kids and, and, and…..

Anyway, I did manage to get a lot of things put up. Mostly jelly, cause it’s easy. And since I am going to do a post on water bath canning, I might as well include a recipe, right? So, I will give you the easy grape jelly recipe.

Water bath canning is great for fruits, fruit juices, jelly and jam and tomatoes and salsa.

We’ve covered the equipment needed and how to prepare it already. For this recipe, you will need 5 pint jars, lids and bands, sterilized and held in hot water. I use my pressure canner for the pot, but you can use a very large pot. It has to be big enough to cover the jars with water, by an inch. you can put the lid on a jar and place it in the pot to measure the amount of water you need.

So fill the pot and place it on the stove to bring it to a boil while preparing your recipe. If using a cake pan to keep the jars off the direct heat place it in now. If using a rack, as soon as the jars are filled, place them inside the rack and lower it into the pot.

For the jelly I used:

4 cups of 100% grape juice (I used the can, and added my own water)

5 1/2 cups of sugar

1 box of pectin

1/8 teaspoon of butter to help with the film

Combine the juice and pectin in a pan and bring to a rolling boil. It’s kind of like making candy (for those of you who have). You want to jelly to thicken up. When it has reached a boil, add in your sugar and return to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let boil one minute. Add in the butter and stir to melt.

To check the thickness of your jelly, place a spoon into the jelly and raise above the pot. If the jelly flows off the spoon, it’s not thick enough, cook it a little longer. When it beads up before it falls off (or falls off in little beads) it is ready to put into jars.

Skim off the foam on top of the jelly. I put it in a little bowl and set it to the side. When it hardens, I eat it, lol/

Ladle the jelly into clean, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ of headspace. Run a rubber spatula around the edges of the jelly to remove air bubbles. Remove the lids from the water and center of the jar top, place the band on and tighten. You aren’t looking for Fort Knox tight, just fingertip tight.

Place jars (upright) in the boiling water, not letting them touch, put the lid on and bring water back to a boil. As soon as the water reaches a vigorous boil, start timing.  If at anytime it drops below a boil, you have to bring it back to a boil and start your timer over.

This jelly processes for 10 minutes.

When your jars are done, using the jar lifter (or if you used a rack, you’d just remove the rack with the jars in it), remove the jars and place on a towel. Let them sit for 12-24 hours. Do not re-tighten the bands.

After 24 hours, check the lids by pressing in the center. If it springs back, the lids didn’t seal. If it stays tight, the jars are ready to store. Label, date and store in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight.

I usually hear the pop of the jars sealing about 15 minutes after they start to cool down. If one doesn’t seal, I just pop it in the fridge to use as soon as possible. You can also check the jar for nicks on the top by removing the lids and inspecting carefully. You can reprocess using new lids and if needed new jars.

Like I said, I did 5 different jellies over a period of 4 days! I really like to make jelly and you can use pretty much any liquid to do it. Experimentation time!

I really do have to find a schedule for posting. Everyday is a little much when we have so much to do. We also got rid of the satellite internet we had. It was just too expensive. Instead, I use my phone as a hotspot since I have a lot of data. 🙂

I’m going to say this….just as a precaution. Always do your research when looking up recipes to can. Even though I just made this jelly, and have eaten almost a jar, I always look over my recipes before I post them and don’t post something I haven’t ate myself, be careful. Mistakes happen, as do mistypes and other things. Ball has a fantastic website with canning time on it. When making a recipe to can, always can with the highest time on the chart. So if you have a stew, can using the time for the longest ingredient (most of the time, it’s the meat).

Most of all, enjoy!

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