Homemade Grape Juice and More

Our visit to friend Marcia's vineyard meant the next day was time to make jelly and juice at home.  I used the grape jelly recipe from the So Easy to Preserve book from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.  Despite seeming like it took an eternity to get the jelly to the right thickness over the stove, it turned out beautifully.  I love that the only ingredients are grapes and sugar -- no corn syrup or additives.


I also tried the personal recipe that Marcia said I could share here with you.  Extension Service experts say to only use tested recipes. This is not an officially tested recipe, so use at your own risk. Jar sterilization and other safety measures apply.  It worked fine at our house and Marcia's been making it for years.  The grapes stay inside the jar, and Marcia says you just decant the juice once you open the sealed top to serve it.  Marcia recommends mixing red and white grapes so the juice has a natural pink color.  If the jar doesn't seal properly or if you detect any sort of bad odor when you open the jar, don't use it.  Check with your local Extension Service if you have questions about canning safety.


Marcia's Grape Juice

Wash grapes twice and remove from stems.

Sterilize quart jars and lids.

Fill each quart jar 1/2 full with washed grapes.

Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar to each quart jar.  (We used 1/3 cup and it still tasted sweet.)

Fill jars with boiling water, leaving 1/2 inch head space.

Wipe tops of jars and put lids on.

Water bath process with water covering the jars, at a hard boil for 5 minutes.

Listen for the pop or see the center of the lid depressed to know the lids sealed.
If a lid doesn't seal, refrigerate and drink juice within a few days.

After a while, the water turns a lovely bright pink.  The grapes stay inside the jars
until you're ready to unseal them and serve the juice.

Marcia tells everyone she knows about the Christian School of New Vision in Haiti, where the students and teachers can always use a helping hand.

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