Spiced Grapes

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The technique is simple and allows for a much richer flavor and better sweet/sour balance than your run-of-the-mill grape jelly. We make it with both wild and cultivated grapes and wonder why on earth it ever went out of style. Terrific in a turkey sandwich, sophisticated with roast game, elevating, even, a PB&J.

• 4 pounds flavorful wild or Concord grapes, pulled from the stems
• 2 1/2 pounds (5 1/2 cups) sugar
• 1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
• 1  3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Wash the grapes, and squeeze the insides into a heavy-bottomed non-reactive pot. Set the skins aside for later. Over medium heat, cook the grape innards about 15 minutes, or until seeds may be easily separated. Run through sieve or food mill.

Return the pulp to the pot, along with the grape skins and the remainder of the ingredients. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the skins are tender and the conserve is thickened.

Pour hot into hot canning jars, and process half-pint or pint jars in a hot water bath for ten minutes. Or, just store, unprocessed, in fridge and use within a month or so. Either way, it benefits by a few days ripening before eating.

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