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Simple Concord Grape Jam

Grape Jam on buttered english muffin

The last two weekends at the farmers market I have found plentiful amounts of concord grapes, it’s that time of year you know. I love them, eating them right off the stem sweet and tart at the same time and an intense burst of concord grape flavor. I bought a lot of them, really way too many to eat so I decided to try my hand at making jam. I have never canned or preserved anything before, one day I will, but not this time, so this jam has to be used fairly quickly within a month or so but honestly, it’s so good it didn’t last more than a week. I sterilized some canning jars poured the hot jam in the jar, sealed and refrigerated it overnight, by the morning it was thick rich intense grape jam.  I have become somewhat obsessed with making jam now, giving jars to my daughter to take home for the kids and they are really enjoying it. This weekend I made a spiced plum jam following a recipe from Hannah and her beautiful blog, Blue Kale Road, it is amazing and you should try it. Back to the grape jam though, it’s so easy to make, and you can make it in small batches. This is going to make a really good PB&J sandwich.


2 quarts (about 8 cups) concord grapes, cleaned and removed from stems

4 -4.5 cups sugar

juice of 1 lemon

Add grapes, sugar and lemon juice to a medium saucepan mash the grapes to release some of the juices. Bring to a boil on high heat, when it comes to a rolling boil reduce heat to medium and let simmer uncovered for about an 1-1 1/2 hours. You will notice it is thickening and it will coat your spoon. Drop some of the jam onto a saucer and if it thickens it’s ready.

simmering grapes

While the grapes are simmering sterilize your jars and lids, let them boil for 15 minutes, remove to a clean tea  towel to dry. When the grapes have finished cooking take a large non reactive bowl, I used an 8 cup heatproof glass measuring cup place a sieve on top and carefully pour the grapes into it. Stir it so that the liquid drips into the bowl, stir constantly and scrape the bottom of the sieve from time to time.

Strain it well

All you want left is the skin and seeds, push the pulp through, there will be very little left in the sieve.

See not much left only seeds and skin

Place the liquid back in the saucepan and simmer on medium for about 15 minutes. Pour into sterilized jars, screw lids on tightly and let sit until it reaches room temperature. You then refrigerate overnight or several days. It will become very thick and jam like.

25 Comments Post a comment
  1. petit4chocolatier #

    There is nothing like a good homemade jam. Jellies and jams have gotten expensive and you wonder sometimes what you are paying for because they all are pretty much the same. Your grape jam looks and sounds delicious. Wonderful gifts too!

    October 1, 2012
  2. Thank you, yes it is very expensive this cost very little to make and is so much better. I have to learn how to process or can I have a terrible phobia about it, I am working my way up to doing it, my next step is actually processing some jam. It can be intimidating when you read about bacteria and the correct ratio of acid to base ugh! I figure jam is a good way to start out. Once I do I am going to gift.

    October 1, 2012
  3. We don’t get Concord grapes here very much, to my regret. I remember their distinctive flavor and aroma from my childhood. Your jam looks so good 🙂

    October 1, 2012
    • It’s so true, every time I taste it I am taken back to my childhood, I only remember ever eating two flavors of jam when I was little either grape or strawberry. Thanks so much Suzanne.

      October 2, 2012
  4. I can never get enough of Concord grapes but must confess, am scared to make jelly! You inspire me 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru
    P.S. Come enter my international giveaway to celebrate my 1st Blogiversary!

    October 1, 2012
    • I am terrified to can or preserve but this is easy and doesn’t require all the processing, Thank you so much. Yes, I will enter the giveaway.

      October 2, 2012
  5. Looks delicious!! I love grapes and that color is gorgeous!! So much better than store bought.

    October 2, 2012
    • Thank you, it is so much better than store bought, the flavor is so intense,

      October 2, 2012
  6. Every summer we’d visit my grandparents in Virginia – my grandma had so many grape vines, I’d make myself sick the first day eating as many grapes as I could. The smell of grape jelly/jam always brings me right back to her kitchen table.

    Now I want to make jam!

    October 2, 2012
    • Thank you so much, it also brings back memories for me. My Grandpa grew grapes, made his own wine. He didn’t speak any English was from Italy it was a real treat. I did the same, would eat grapes just about until I was sick. Love them.

      October 4, 2012
  7. For never making jelly before this sure sounds great and I like how it thickens overnight. I’m sure it’s sooo much better than the store bought stuff. The plum jam sounds good too. I have wild grapes that are really sour, wonder if I could use them to make jelly (because you add sugar) or would it still be too sour?

    October 2, 2012
    • Thank you, it really does thicken to a jam consistency overnight checked it this morning and yup, its jam alright,
      I have never tasted nor used wild grapes. If they are very sour then you would have to add a lot ore sugar I guess to sweeten it up, Its funny about concords they taste sweet at first but then the sour hits you. I had to use 2 cups of sugar which is a lot to get it sweet enough, maybe a similar ratio for your wild grapes. It’s so easy to make and you are so right it tastes 100x better than store bought.

      October 2, 2012
      • I’ll have to pick some tonight and just try a small batch, in case they are too sour. I have so many, I would just like to be able to use them.

        October 2, 2012
      • Let me know how it turns out, are wild grapes purple?

        October 2, 2012
  8. Yep, they’re purple and about 1/3 of the size of a regular grape. I will let you know 🙂

    October 2, 2012
    • Wow, can’t wait to see the results of wild grape jam! Will keep you busy while waiting for the arrival of the baby.

      October 2, 2012
  9. I was never a fan of store bought grape jelly when growing up. Then last year at a jam stall in the farmer’s market, I tried Concord grape jam and it was divine! Obviously, completely different from what’s on store shelves. If I come across Concord grapes I will definitely make some at home. Thank you for sharing your recipe! And thank you, too, for the shout out – very sweet of you. 🙂

    October 2, 2012
    • It really is completely different from the commercially prepared stuff, when little Maia took a taste her face lit up and she said it really tastes like grapes, it was so funny, doesn’t say much for the store bought stuff. She loved your spiced plum jam also, gave a jar to my daughter and Maia is enjoying it every morning on her toast and waffles.

      October 2, 2012
      • Yay! That makes me happy. She’s a lucky girl to have you making jam for her!

        October 2, 2012
  10. Ali #

    I’ve never come close to making a jam or preserving anything! I’m also not familiar with the concord grape but your jam does look great!!

    October 3, 2012
    • Thank you, I also have never canned or preserved anything. This jam is not processed so I consider it easier to make (less steps) and has to be used more quickly. Concord grapes are wonderful, they produce a rich and very distinctive grape flavor however you choose to use them, They are only available in early fall in NY and this was my first attempt at making a jam, I didn’t use a recipe I winged it and luckily it turned out great. Always had grape jelly or jam commercially made by Welches and also their grape juice, its good but nothing like this jam.

      October 3, 2012
  11. love this!

    October 8, 2012
  12. You mush the grapes to release the juice. A potato masher is useful to help crush them. But if you really want to ,make it easy, just use your food processor or chopper OR a juicer. To make jelly, we’ll need to crush them well so we can extract the juice. You’ll need about 5 cups of juice.

    October 21, 2012
    • I bought 4 lbs of grapes this weekend and just made a batch, I did just as you said, mashed with a potato masher, I didn’t add any water just the sugar and lemon juice and it worked really well. Thank you.

      October 22, 2012

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