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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Recipe Wednesday! WILD thing! You make my heart sing...Grape Jelly!

Not just jelly...did you know that you can make bread starter from wild grapes? Check along country roadsides for wild grapes, they're growing like mad and ready right now! Happy picking!

(Grape Yeast Bread Starter)

"Use unwashed, organically grown red or purple grapes for this recipe. The white powder found on the skins of the grapes is yeast. If you wish, you can switch to bread flour on the 5th day. The starter is fully active and ready to use in 9 days."


1 pound grapes
1 cup whole wheat flour


Stem grapes into a medium mixing bowl. Crush with hands. Cover with cheesecloth, and set aside for three days at room temperature.
After three days there should be bubbles in the grape juice, indicating fermentation has begun. Strain liquid, and discard skins. Return to bowl, and stir in 1 cup whole wheat flour. Set aside for 24 hours at room temperature.
Measure 1 cup starter, discard any extra, and transfer to a 1 quart glass or ceramic container with a lid. Stir in 1 scant cup bread flour and 1 cup water. The mixture should resemble a thick batter; add more water or flour if necessary to achieve this consistency. Cover loosely with lid. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Repeat the following day. Some activity should be noticeable: the mixture should be starting to bubble. Repeat twice more. You will need to discard some of the mixture each day.
Starter should be quite active. Begin feeding regularly, every 4 to 6 hours, doubling the starter each time. For instance, if you have 1 cup starter, add 1 cup bread flour and 1 cup water. Alternatively, store in the refrigerator, and feed weekly.




3 lbs wild grapes, stemmed
3 cups water
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 (85 ml) package liquid pectin


In large saucepan, crush grapes with potato masher; pour in water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until fruit is very soft.
Transfer to jelly bag or colander lined with a double thickness of fine cheesecloth and let drip overnight.
Measure juice (you should have 3 cups/750 ml) into a large heavy saucepan; stir in sugar. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
Stir in pectin. Return to full boil and boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam with a metal spoon.
Pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/8 inch headspace. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.




3 cups grape juice
5 1/4 cups white sugar
1 (2 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin


Sterilize and dry jars for jelly, and set side. I like to use my dishwasher. New lids are recommended for best results.
Combine grape juice and pectin in a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and stir one minute at a rolling boil. Stir in sugar for a few minutes to completely dissolve. Remove from heat.
Ladle the hot jelly into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top. Wipe rims of jars with a clean dry cloth. Cover with a lid and ring to seal. Let stand 24 hours at room temperature, then refrigerate. Jelly may take up to a week to set. Once set, it is ready to serve. Store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks, once set. If canning for long term storage, process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, or contact your local extension for processing times in your area.

AND...another method for you to try!

...Making Wild Grape Jelly...
When all the grapes are clean and free of any debris, I put them all through the food mill. I dump all the pulp and its juice into a large pot. Then I add 1 cup of water. You bring this mixture up to a boil and then turn down your stove. Let it simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. By this time the beautiful purple color of the skins begins to emerge in the juice.
The juice is beginning to turn purple from the skins.
Now you need to separate the juice from its pulp. Place a large bowl under a colander or cheesecloth. There are many ways to do it. You can read in your canning book for different ideas to extract the juice. I place the pulp, juice, and all into a colander with fine mesh. Then I let it sit overnight while the juice gathers in the bowl. I put this in the refrigerator when I go to bed.
In the morning, I measure out the juice and throw the pulp to the chickens. You need 5 cups of grape juice for one recipe. I used pectin this year with fabulous results. Last year I tried the no pectin recipe. The flavor was the same, but the texture was more of syrup than jelly. We prefer jelly.
So, add a box of powdered pectin to your 5 cups of grape juice. Bring to a boil. Add 5 cups of sugar. Then let it boil hard for one minute. Pour into hot, sterilized jars leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Wipe off the rim of the jar and place a brand-new hot lid. Screw on the band. Process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes. Remove and let to cool. Check for good seals, remove the bands, label, and store.
This is a fairly easy process. This year I made two batches yielding 8 pints of jelly. It is always best not to double your recipe when canning. Make separate batches.

"I am sure the grapes are sour."
~Aesop, The Fox and the Grapes

"It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow."
~Aesop, The Ant and the Grasshopper

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