Concord Grapes Jam

By DK on Oct 11, 2011
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
Ever since I discovered that I can make my own Jams at home, it has become an addiction. Though at times I still do tend to buy store bought jams, the amount of satisfaction I get while whipping up my own is unmeasurable! It had been a while since I made a batch and I was itching to give something new a try. I saw these Concord Grapes in the local store last week. I remembered this one recipe I was hoping to try and am I glad I did!
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
Its sweet and its slightly tart and its has the MOST AMAZING purple blue color. From what I read online, Concord Grapes (from Concord, of course!) are less sweet than regular grapes and which you can skin easily. You can give a slight squeeze at one end and you will find the pulp readily leaving their skins. These are mostly used for their juice, Jams and jelly - remember Welch? They are also used for making pies and tarts.  Due to the fact that they have large seeds they are normally not used for eating just as they are.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
The thing that caught my attention about this recipe was that it used the grape skin too for making the Jam. Also there is no pectin or water added to it. Its downright minimal as far as the ingredients go. Just grapes and sugar!. Also the sugar is warmed in the oven in order to prevent the jam from cooling when it is added.
References
recipe courtesy from  home baking cookbook
Basic Information
Prep Time: Under 30 min
Cook Time: 30 min to 1 hour
Serves: 8+ people
Yield: Around 5 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs ripe Concord Grapes
  • 3 cups Sugar (see Tips)
Tips
Sugar: The book suggests using additional 1 cup (total 4 cups) if you prefer your jam sweeter. I used only 3 cups and for us it was quite sweet already.
Method
1
Wash the grapes well in cold water.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
2
Pick the Grapes off their stems.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
3
Squeeze them out of their skins into a stainless steel pot. Its totally fine if  a little skin stays stuck to the pulp.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
4
Its a cumbersome process indeed but it doesn't take as long as you might think. The book suggested something on the lines of 15 minutes. For me, inspite of distractions galore from a little one trying to whisk the grape from the table to trying to capture photos, it took only 30 minutes.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
5
Set aside the Grape skins. You will be using them later.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
6
Yay! Pink fingers! Well you might have colored fingers even after washing them and you will be fated to remain with pink palms for the rest of your life..err..ahem! OK! Bad joke I know!
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
7
Place this pot of grape pulp over medium heat.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
8
Cover and bring to a gentle boil.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
9
Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
10
When the grapes have broken down to a mush remove them from the heat.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
11
Place a large bowl in the sink and set the sieve over it. Pour the grape pulp into the sieve
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
12
and using a wooden spoon, push down the pulp through the mesh.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
13
Discard the seeds.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
14
Add the grape skin to the pulp
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
15
and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 2 minutes wherein you will notice that the now this mixture has turned dark thanks to the color of the grape skins.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
16
Alternatively while the jam was coming to a boil, warm the sugar in an 150F oven.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
17
Gradually add the warm sugar, stirring in 1 cup at a time to the pulp.
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
18
Bring back to a rolling boil and cook stirring constantly.  Did you look at that color? Deep purple! Looks mindbogglingly good, isnt it?
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
19
How to check if your Jam is done?

1. Temperature Test – If the temperature (using a candy thermometer) shows 220ºF (or 104ºC), then the Jam is done. Make sure that your thermometer is placed vertically and the bulb is covered with the jam. The bulb should NOT touch the bottom of the pan.
2. Spoon Test – This is similar to how you test a sugar thread consistency.  Take a cool metal spoon and dip it into the boiling Jam mixture. When you life the spoon, if the Jam runs off the spoon like a syrup, then the Jam needs more cooking time. But if it is heavier and drops like slate/sheet off the spoon instead of flowing as drops, you know that the Jam is done.
3. Refrigerator Test - I mostly use this method to check the doneness of my jams. I keep a plate in the freezer and remove it when I want to test. I then pour a small amount of the boiling jelly/jam on this plate and let it sit in the fridge for few seconds. If the mixture gels /mounds and wrinkles when you push it with your finger, it's done. If runny and it does not have a body to it, then continue to cook the jam for few more minutes until it clears the nudge test.
More info in the Apricot Vanilla Jam Recipe
How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
Follow the tutorial for Canning the Jam in my Plum Jam Recipe How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes This is the picture of my toast with Jam the next day during breakfast. See that beautiful purple color. YUM! How to Make Easy Jam | Concord Grape Recipes
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Please click below to share your experiences while you were making this recipe. Thanks for your input!
86 Responses to “Concord Grapes Jam”
  1. Sarah D

    Once I can the Jam. How long is the shelf life?

  2. Kate Cox

    Just had an over-supply of Black Hamburg grapes so tried your jam recipe.
    Looks really good and tastes better!
    Loved the hint about the cold saucer in the fridge – worked well!
    Cheers Kate – New Zealand

    I am so glad to hear it worked out great for you. Thank you for the feedback :) –DK

  3. Hi I used Catawba grapes, added 1/2 a cup extra sugar thought I had over cooked it but it came out fabulously , my first jam attempt

  4. Paul and Laura

    Great simple recipe. One question though, does it have to be concord grapes? We can’t seem to find anywhere near us here in Ireland that sells them. Thanks

  5. Simon and Jane

    We live in the UK and picked the grapes from our grapevine that grows over the dining room window at the front of our house. We followed the recipe for your grape jelly (it’s jam in the UK) and it is absolutely delicious! We have called it “Burlecott Jam”. We have loads more grapes so will be making plenty more – and all the family will be getting “Burlecott Jam” for Christmas!! Thank you for your lovely recipe. Regards Simon & Jane

  6. Anita

    The sugar dissolves better when it is warm.

  7. Anita

    If your jam was runny after it had cooled (24 hrs) then you should have boiled it longer. Timing starts from when it comes to a boil. You can use it as a sauce or try reboiling it and then jarring it again. I would chalk this up to a lesson learned.
    The same if it is like rubber you cooked it too long. When you are ready to use it you could always reheat it and thin it out with some pure concord grape juice. As long as the taste is great I say no loss.

  8. patricia

    My jam came out runny. I used the candy thermometer to test and it was the right temp. Can I fix it?

  9. Sabrina

    dose the sugar have to be heated up?

  10. just finished my first try at grape jam. I pretty much followed your instructions but had to keep adding sugar. Finally stopped at 4+ cups. I had 6 cups of pulp without the skins. I’m afraid I overcooked it by adding more sugar. My question is..when you keep adding sugar does it make the cooking time longer and you end up with rubbery jam? I am thinking this may be the case and it’s going to be very tart. Any rules of thumb for adding sugar? I would rather have too little than too much.

  11. pamela

    Has anyone ever reported the jars popping and un-popping. Some of my jars popped then un-popped. :oops:

  12. Robyn

    Mine came out extremely rubbery as one other poster said. More like a hard chewy candy. I followed my candy thermometer which has never failed me in the past. A lot of work for a failed attempt.

  13. John-Eddie

    Just made this with 10# of Catawba grapes. I went with 4 cups of sugar to each 3# of grapes, since Catawbas have a tartness that’ll cut through. Came out great.

  14. Megan

    I made this recipe and it turned out….rubbery. I have never made jelly/jam before, and am wondering if it might have been caused by cooking it to long? It taste fantastic just really hard to spread.

  15. Jessica H

    I loved this recipe for its simplicity. I did make a couple of changes though, namely instead of putting the skins back in with the separated pulp I boiled them on their own and then pushed them through the strainer as well (I knew at least one of my kids would flip over skins in the jam). Aside from that I simply didn’t time the last boil, but rather just let it roil around for a while (something like 20 minutes) until it thickened to my liking. My kids both offered to eat a jar of their own ;-) thank you so much for posting this!

  16. Laura

    I have made this recipe a few times and it has been great. I am new to this so I do have one question I hope someone can answer. I made a batch yesterday and it seemed as if it had set, but now I can tell from moving the jars that it is very runny. Can they be re-boiled to get it to set thicker?

  17. Megan

    My question is that on step 6 and 7 it looks like you added water or some liquid, how much did you add?

    Nope, I didn’t. It just juice of the grapes while I was squeezing out the skin. :) –DK

  18. JBowers

    :) I use concord grapes, wash them, measure out 6 cups of grapes to 6 cups of granulated sugar. Boil for 15 min. slow cook so it doesn’t boil over. Have your jelly jars ready that you have had in boiling water, put cooked grapes thru a food mill. Put in jars while its hot, seal & its ready to eat.

  19. Mary Whalen

    Old family recipe for Concord grapes adds vinegar and everything ( including skins) is cooked together. Added delight is the way the house smells while jam cooks. We call it Waverly Jam. No idea where name comes from. M

  20. Sirena

    I would love to know if you can CAN this receipe. I have made raspeberry jam before and I have had to use the sure gel for it to keep. I would like to make this now from my grapes and give it out for Christmas. What would I need to do so that this jam stays good? If I can it will the lid pop and be fine onm the shelf or does it need to stay refrigerated?

  21. DK: Thanks for this recipe and the thorough illustration. I prefer simple and long-cook jams and jellies, especially since I see that the recipes that use commercial pectin require twice as much sugar as a cooked jam. So I selected your recipe the minute I saw it.
    My grape vines (4-5 varieties) are producing prolifically this year (after 10 years of trial and error), and right now the grapes are very ripe, high sugar content, high gel “factor”, and very tasty (Concord/jam/cooking types like Steuben, Minnesota-78 and Bluebell). Here is what I did with your recipe (turned out perfectly twice now):
    * I used coconut sugar both times, same amount (I never use refined sugar).
    * Used Steuben grapes (spicy on their own) first time around.
    * I added cinnamon and nutmeg (to taste) and lemon (2 Tbsp.) to second batch (mostly Bluebell grapes).
    * I experimented with the grape attachment on the Victorio seed remover (works like a charm on tomatoes). I ended up doing as you suggest, removing the seeds by pressing through a sieve. This is best done (as you say) while pulp and skin are separated. I threw away a mess on the first batch, added some new grapes to make up (when the grape store is 20 feet away and over-stocked, this was easy).
    ===
    Observations:
    * Yield was, both times, 3 cups plus “one sandwich right now”.
    * The cooking to gel stage was flawless (20+ minutes in the final cook). Both batches set perfectly within 24 hours.
    * The skins dissolve and cook enough as to not be noticeable or bothersome. They add so much color, volume, texture, flavor that I have no interest in wasting my time making (less) grape jelly after trying this recipe.
    * 3 pounds of grapes worked out to about 4 cups of grapes after removing stems, seeds.

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