Muscadines are one of the few grape varieties that thrive in the summer heat of the Southern United States, both in the wilds and backyard arbors. A week or so ago I purchased some from the farm stand just down the road.
The thick skinned grapes are most often used for making wine or jelly. I didn’t have enough grapes to make wine, and jelly making is a bit out of my league. Jelly seems like a lot of work with all the straining and skimming and expectations of perfect clarity. I don’t really know. I’ve never made jelly before, but I have made jam.
I boiled the two quarts of muscadines with a little less than 2 cups of water. It didn’t take long for the grapes to soften and break open.
I ran the cooked grapes through the chinois to separate out the seeds and tough skins.
The sieved grape juice and solids were mixed with pectin and heated to boiling. A scant 4 cups of sugar were added, and after another minute of rapid boiling the jam was ready to be preserved in jars. I chose to use small jars to lessen the amount of water needed for canning, thereby reducing weight and the risk of cracking the glass stovetop (again).
The jam turned out sweet enough with just the right amount of tartness. The grapes were quite tart to begin with.
Yesterday I used some of this muscadine jam as well as a few herbed cheese balls to make ebelskiver.