Grape jelly

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins , plus straining

A challenge

Makes 600ml
This slightly tart, vibrant red jelly makes a lovely change from the usual jams

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal57
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs15g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0g
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  • 1kg red grapes, preferable with seeds (stripped from the stalks)
  • 450g jam sugar (with added pectin)



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • juice 1 lemon



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  1. Tip the grapes into a large saucepan set over a low heat, then cover and leave to gently cook for 5 mins until the juices start to run. Take a potato masher or fork and mash up the grapes. Leave to cook for about 10 mins more, mashing every now and again until the grapes are falling apart. Place a clean tea towel or kitchen cloth in a sieve set over a bowl, then pour the grape mixture into this. Let the mixture drip through for at least 1 hr or preferably overnight.

  2. Measure out the juice (you should have about 600ml) and pour it into a pan along with the sugar and lemon juice. Set the pan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Skimming any scum as it boils, let the mixture bubble until the temperature reaches 105C on a sugar thermometer. If you don’t have one, put a small plate in the freezer for 5 mins, then pour a little of the juice onto the cold saucer. After 1 min, run your finger through; if the jam wrinkles slightly, it’s ready. Pour the hot jam into a sterilised jar. Will keep unopened for up to 3 months.

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Comments (17)

Jeannie P's picture

Have just made this for the second year running and have been most successful this time, after not so good results last year. We live high up in the Pennines, where our outdoor grapes over the pergola never amount to much and are dropping everywhere and attracting wasps. Last year, the first batch I left too long and it turned into toffee. Second batch last year I was scared to repeat the toffee experience and left it boiling for only a short time and the jelly did not set but made 'coulis' - my posh name for runny jelly - but which is delicious over snitzels, duck and chicken. This year I used a thermometer and have made a perfect set jelly, which when scraping out the jam pan my busband declared was absolutely delicious. So do use a thermometer but watch at the crucial setting time or else you will end up with toffee.

sooanne's picture

Am making this now and feeling hopeful but why do you say this only keeps for three months unopened? Jam usually keeps for much longer.

staffybull's picture

yummy made for first time :)

gr8kiwicook's picture

Oops, typo! Japonica may work better!

gr8kiwicook's picture

Will try this recipe with homegrown table and sauvignon blanc grapes. A trick i've used before to help set is to use a few crab apples or japinca apples which have natural pectin- boil up with the grapes. Saves buying pectin and with crab apples gives lovely colour too.

130450's picture

This recipe works perfectly, no need to change anything to achieve a beautifully coloured delicious jelly. Living in south-west France,we have a lot of duck and the jelly is wonderful with magret de canard as well as morning croissants!

hellisgen's picture

This is a wonderfully simple and quick recipe and a satsifying way of using the last remaining grapes on the vine which were small, tough-skinned and pippy. And yet the jelly they produced was rich and full of flavour. I found that it took about eight minutes to bring the juice and sugar up to the right temperature and it set beautifully. Will definitely make more again next year and will try some of the variations mentioned above and perhaps try one or two of my own.

cheshirecheese07's picture

This is the first jelly I've ever made and I'm wondering why, because it was so easy! We have a vine in our greenhouse for shade, and it produces masses of grapes - unfortunately they're not very nice to eat because they're full of pips! However, this is of course a bonus here because of the pectin. I made double the quantity, which filled a dozen 5oz jars with a little left over. I also added some juniper berries, which I removed before bottling.

sandif's picture

Made 2 lots of this, approx 3kgs each time, in the second we used claret as a substitute for some grape juice as described by Ro, some will go for Xmas prezzies. Used a bottle of pectin in each batch and found it enough for a good but not too solid set. A good way of using up our greenhouse grapes that had not been eaten. will do next year.

sandif's picture

Made 2 lots of this, approx 3kgs each time, in the second we used claret as a substitute for some grape juice as described by Ro, some will go for Xmas prezzies. Used a bottle of pectin in each batch and found it enough for a good but not too solid set. A good way of using up our greenhouse grapes that had not been eaten. will do next year.

codfishnono's picture

look forward to trying out as im harvesting my black and red grapes today. about 10kg should produce quite a lot?

spongemaker1's picture

I can't get jam sugar here in Bulgaria (well maybe- but I can't read the packets!) so I used a whole bottle of liquid pectin. It set like rubber, if I can get a spoon into it I think it will be lovely added to sauces for duck, pork etc!

ramses2's picture

An excellent way to use extra grapes. Terrific with roast pheasant and other game dishes.

rowanastatham's picture

If the grape juice is too sweet, I use less grape juice and add Claret or red wine near the end of the cooking process to make Claret and grape jelly. Excellent for cooking with duck.

ambertuesday's picture

loved this as it used up lots of the grapes in our garden, only complaint was that it did seem very sweet, but thats jam I guess!!
Put it in a selection of small jars so as to give it to friends, how great to not only say I made this but I grew it too!!!!!

suffolkboy1's picture

I have been making grape jelly from grapes grown outside in my garden for many years now. I usually make around 20lbs per year, the recipe is very similar to the aforementioned and is delicious. Idistribute it amongst my family and friends (keeping enough to last the year of course). It is in great demand and they cannot get enough of it. I only have one vine but it is a very prolific producer. We always put a spoonful in gravy and in stews. The only change to the recipe is that I add a bottle of commercial pectin

gwenniep's picture

Fantastic recipe, this is the first jelly I have ever made and it was easy and tastes lovely. It's great for the kids as they don't like the fruit and seeds in jam. I will definately make this again.

Questions (2)

womeily's picture

Sorry but - what is "jam sugar"? Probably a stupid question but I really have no idea...can't I use normal sugar? I probably can't find that specific sugar here, we have moscavado sugar, yellow sugar and the white normal sugar... I have tons of grapes from the farm I have to use, and I have no clue what to do with them x)

Homebakedcakes's picture

No not a stupid question at all. Jam sugar is white granulated sugar with pectin already added. You will need to add pectin, either powder or liquid form, whatever you can buy. Pectin is made from apples and is used to set low pectin fruit. This recipe uses lemon juice as well as pectin and you may find with your grapes it is too much setting agent. Make small batches and experiment. You may find just adding an apple to the grapes will do the job.

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