Grape Jam

This is the third year since we planted our grapes. I give them (and everything in our yard) worm castings and water. Nothing else. And they are thriving.

Below is Zoe sitting with the first basket so you can get a sense of how many grapes there are. We don’t own a scale, but I am guessing that this basket weighs at least 30 pounds.
I searched around the blogosphere, and decided that most people make grape jam one of three ways. 1) With added pectin. 2) With tons of sugar. Or 3) By separating the skin from the innards and including the skin in the jam.
The reason that including the skin works is because the skin contains pectin. You can read a great post about it by my friend, Beth, HERE.
I didn’t want to separate the skin from the grape innards though. And I was determined to make this jam without added pectin or tons of sugar. Hmm…
After three tries I came up with a grape jam that I am so happy with. It’s tart, not overly sweet, and intensely grape. I thickened it by adding agar powder. If you use this method but leave out the agar powder it will still be super yummy, just not as thick as jam. I fondly refer to my first few tries (without the agar powder) as “grape butter.” —It’s great on pancakes and ice cream.

I have to give special thanks here to my friend, Linda, who gave me this fantastic spoon (at the top). I adore it!

Grape Jam

Add to large pot:
about 14 cups of grapes (I used grapes with seeds from my yard – I haven’t tried using store bought)

Simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes, mashing them down frequently. Let cool.

Pour into a strainer that is set over a large mixing bowl. Use a flexible spoonula to press as much liquids and pulp through the strainer as possible.

Add to the pot:
4 cups of grape juice/pulp from above (I don’t know if this recipe would work with store bought juice, like Knudsen Just Concord.  —I think it would require more agar powder.)
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp lemon juice

Simmer for about 1 hour, or until the liquids have reduced by half.

Add 1 to 1.5 tsp of agar powder (not flakes! you would need far more of the flakes)
Whisk while simmering for about one minute. Store in mason jars in the fridge.

Makes 2 cups of grape jam.

I have made much more, so I have been canning mine. I used my friend, Ali’s canning instructions HERE.

♥, Kelly


  1. Anonymous says

    How do you get the seeds to strain out but still keep the skins in? Also, what’s your trick to getting the grapes to all ripen at the same time? My seeded grapes riped in waves over the entire bunch, making harvesting difficult

  2. says

    Oh my! I would have never thought to try agar powder, that is so neat that it works! I’m making blueberry jam tomorrow. We just picked 45 pounds today. Baby Camille actually is helping now with the picking too…the power of imitation! :)

    I will try a small batch of this with the blueberries and see what comes of it.

  3. says

    This looks delicious! I recently made blueberry honey jam and used agar powder, but it doesn’t gel in the fridge like I would have expected. I think I’ll try upping my proportion next time.

    Your recipe sounds great and would be scrumptious with a little almond butter. An AB&J sammy – yum!

  4. Anonymous says

    Kelly, this looks wonderful! My in-laws grow grapes….I will have to see if I can talk them out of some :).

    And Zoe looks beautiful – not so much a little girl any more, but becoming a lovely young lady
    Thanks for the inspiration!


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