As I’ve mentioned previously, we’ve had a really nice crop of grapes this year. I lost the label for this particular grape variety, but it is a light red, almost pink, seedless grape that clearly does well in the Pacific Northwest. We easily had four times the amount of grapes you see in the picture above, which is not bad for a vine that is only a few years old. With so many grapes, I decided to try making grape jam, something I’ve never done before. The results were, well, interesting.
Following the “easy grape jam” recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, I picked, washed, and prepared 3.5 lbs of fresh grapes. The recipe requires boiling the grapes and using a liquid pectin. While the grapes were boiling, I tried to mash them up a bit so I wouldn’t have completely whole grapes in the jam.
After I completed the canning process, it became apparent quickly that the jam solids and liquid separated pretty significantly. The top, darker, part of the jar contains the grape solids and looks like jam. The bottom is pretty much solid-free and looks like jelly. This wasn’t what I intended, but it isn’t exactly a canning disaster. Has this happened to anyone else? Any thoughts or recommendations? Now if I could only find a grape jam recipe that uses less sugar. Seems such a shame to make jam using a recipe that requires way more sugar than actual fruit.
My canning efforts are quickly winding down, but I have an idea for at least one more project. I have a lot of really pretty rose hips. I did a quick search and found a recipe for rose hip jam. Has anyone attempted this before? Any other ideas for what to do with the hips?