Recently some friends of mine gifted me with approximately a gallon of heavenly Muscadine Juice that they’d juiced just the night before. So, needless to say, it was majorly fresh and begging to be converted into a most delicious treat…Homemade Jam. So, in the event that you too are blessed to have some muscadine juice, here is my recipe for a most simple and yummy jam.
***What you will need…
4 cups muscadine or other grape juice.
4 cups sugar
3 Tbsp low sugar pectin (I used Ball brand)
3 pint jars (it makes approximately 2 3/4 pints. OR you could use 6 half pint jars.
***What to do…
—Before starting, place a small plate/saucer into the freezer…its for testing your jam later. Also, if you are canning, get your jars and lids heated up. Sterilize jars in the dishwasher or in a stockpot full of water. Place lids and rings in small pan of water and bring them to a Low simmer.
1. Pour grape juice into saucepan and bring it to a boil for about 5 minutes.
2.Mix pectin with 1/2 cup of the sugar and pour into juice, stirring until dissolved.
3.Once it returns to a boil add remaining 3 1/2 cups sugar and stir, stir, stir until dissolved.
4.Bring mixture to a hard/rolling boil that cannot be calmed by stirring. Takes about ten minutes, but watch it carefully when it starts to boil as it can easily get away from you and bubble over. (Yes, its happened to me and it took a very long time to get sticky grape jam off everything.)
5.Turn off stove. Take the plate from the freezer and place a spoonful of the jam onto it. Let it cool for a few minutes. If it sets/gels and does not run when you tilt the plate, its ready. If it doesn’t gel, return your saucepan of jam to a simmer for another 5 Minutes. You will notice it is close to being ready when the mixture visibly thickens and is beginning to adhere to the sides of the pan.
6.Remove jars from stock pot (using a jar lifter, making sure to pour all the water out of the jars back into the pot) and place them on a towel on your counter and place canning funnel(if you have one) onto your first jar.
7.Ladel hot jam into jars carefully, up to 1/4 inch from the top. Run a knife down into the jar around the edges, slowly, to remove any air bubbles.
8. Carefully wipe each rim with a damp dishcloth to remove any drips of jam.
9.Place lid and ring onto each jar and tighten. (Fingertip tight.) *you may want to hold the jar with a towel as you tighten them as they will be Very Hot! **make sure not to touch the underside of the lid as it needs to stay clean. You can achieve this if you have a magnetic lid lifter, specifically used for canning.
10. Place jars in canner/stockpot full of water(with a rack at the bottom, so the jars are not sitting on the bottom of the pot), with at least an inch of water above the lids. Place lid on canner and process 10 minutes at a rolling boil. (Make sure to start timer when it begins boiling, not before)
11.Remove jars from canner (using a jar lifter) and place in an out of the way, draft free spot. With a towel or cloth, dry jars/lids.
*after a short wile you will hear “pings” which is the sign that your jars are sealing. Some will take longer than others, so its best to leave them be for 24 hours. (You can tell if they are sealed if you press on the middle of the lid. If it pops up and down it isn’t sealed.) If by this point some haven’t sealed, place them in the refrigerator. They are still good, they are just not shelf stable and should be used first.
**By the way, below are my tools I use for canning.
Green jar rack for inside the canner, jar lifter, magnetic lid lifter,jar funnel and a utensil used for measuring the headspace, which also works great in removing air bubbles from the jar after your jam is added. I have found that a knife works better, because its thinner.
This whole set, pictured above was about $14 at a regular grocery store. You certainly don’t necessarily Need all this stuff, but most of it is quite handy!