Thursday, October 2, 2008

Muscadine Jelly

Muscadines are grapes that can be found growing all over the south. You can find them growing roadside, on nature trails, or anywhere. If you are lucky, you might find some freshly harvested at your farmer's market. You can also make Scuppernog Jelly by using Scuppernogs instead, which are a type of Muscadine that is lighter in color.

Muscadine Jelly

3 1/2 lbs. ripe Muscadine grapes
1 1/2 cups water
1 box SureJell fruit pectin
7 cups sugar

Sterilize jelly jars with boiling water.

Finely chop muscadines in a food processor. Place in a pot with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Strain mixture a little bit at a time to remove skins, pressing gently to get all the juice.

Measure out exactally 5 cups juice and transfer to a pot. Add SureJell and bring to a full boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in the sugar and return to a full boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a spoon.

Ladle hot jam into sterilized jars, filling up to 1/8 inch from the top. Wipe off jar rims and threads and cover with lids tightly.

Put jars in a big pot of water. The water should cover the jars by an inch or two. Allow the water to boil for 10 minutes to seal the jars. Remove the jars and allow to cool on a towel. After they cool, try to push the middle of the lid down. If it springs back, the lid is not sealed properly and needs to be kept in the refrigerator. Otherwise, you can store the jam in a cool, dark place.

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