Grape jelly

Grape jelly

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(14 ratings)

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


  • 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



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…


  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, questions and tips

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Heather Houston's picture
Heather Houston
5th Nov, 2019
Our grape vines produced loads of grapes this year but they are quite sharp in taste so not so good to eat. I have just used 1 kg to make this jelly and it is wonderful! I used slightly more sugar and omitted the lemon juice and it has set perfectly after about 5 minutes boiling. It is such a pretty colour too and just a slight tartness. Still have more grapes to use up so I'm going to make another batch. Thank you Emma for the recipe.
dipiie's picture
4th Aug, 2017
It's simple, easy, and tasty. My family loves this jelly, and I love making it every summer. Thank you for the amazing recipe.
jenclews's picture
13th Mar, 2017
I made a batch over the weekend. It's a beautiful colour and has a good, not too sweet flavour. I added an extra lemon as I doubled the batch. My grapes are quite sweet and almost seedless, so definitely needed the extra pectin. I can't get jam sugar so used 30g of Jamsetta (an Australian commercial pectin.) I don't skim the jelly until the end of cooking as otherwise it's a bit wasteful. My jelly was still nice and clear. Once the jars were cool I put them in the fridge, so hopefully will get a longer shelf life out of it.
Jeannie P
26th Sep, 2016
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.
8th Nov, 2015
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.
9th Oct, 2013
yummy made for first time :)
2nd Apr, 2013
Oops, typo! Japonica may work better!
2nd Apr, 2013
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.
7th Oct, 2012
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!
26th Nov, 2011
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.


Krafty Kim
20th Sep, 2018
I've made this jelly this morning. Not looking like it will set but does it take longer to set than fruit jam i.e. needs to be completely cold. If it doesn't could I empty jars back into pan and re-boil to setting temp to try and get it to set??
goodfoodteam's picture
2nd Oct, 2018
Hi Kim, if the jam doesn't set, add 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp water, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tsp pectin and bring it to the boil again. It must be boiling so hard that the jam rises up the pan. Keep it like that for 1 minute and then try testing it. Hope that helps.
12th Sep, 2018
We have made a batch of grape jam as per recipe and it wouldn’t set. Re boiled and added some liquid pectin but still no luck. What are we doing wrong please.
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Sep, 2018
Thanks for your question. Sorry to hear your jam didn't set. The only thing to do is re-boil again but there must be enough sugar and acid as well as the pectin to work. If you used home-grown grapes it’s possible that they're not sweet enough. Try adding (to 600ml) 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp water, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tsp pectin and bring it to the boil again. It must be boiling so hard that the jam rises up the pan. Keep it like that for 1 minute and then try testing it. If you've made a bigger batch then break it into 5-600ml batches to reboil it or the pectin won’t heat uniformly. Hope that helps.
25th Oct, 2017
Has anyone (successfully) tried this with white grapes?
8th Oct, 2013
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)
30th Oct, 2013
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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