This concord grape jam–nothing but concord grapes, sugar, and citrus juice–is the best and easy to make and creates nothing but smiles. So simple. So much more satisfying than store-bought.
We can think of no more compelling reason to invest time and effort into making one’s own Concord grape jam than that cherubic little face and those pudgy hands proffering the PB&J in the photo above. That said, we find the intense, not overly cloying, truly grape jammy flavor of these preserves sufficiently convincing on its own. They’re so incredibly perfect and no comparison to the store-bought stuff.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Concord Grape Jam
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Makes five to six 8-ounce jars
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
☞ TESTER TIP: When squeezing the grapes, try to keep the stem end pointing down towards the inside of the pot. The skins will slip off more easily and the juices won’t splash quite as much.
Recipe Testers Reviews
Even while this Concord grape jam was still boiling, I could not stop licking the spoon. The end result? Ahhhh… delicious.
Mind you, I’m more of a marmalade or good honey type of person, so I was really looking forward to seeing the reaction of all other family members. And everyone’s verdict was unanimous, from the 3-year-old toddler who had 3 slices of bread with the jam to the teens who decided to forego the bread to my husband, who’s expression was “WOW! This tastes like the one we buy at the farmer’s markets but even better.”
It’s not overly sweet and has a nice, light, citrus taste. Be prepared to tire yourself from squeezing grape by grape. Actually, find a friend, partner, or kid to help you out as time will fly faster this way. I did notice that while squeezing if you try to keep the end that was attached to the vine down towards the inside of the pot, they will come out easier and the juices will not splash as much all over the place.
The rest of the execution is pretty easy and straightforward. It did take about 40 minutes though to reach the correct thickness, but that could be due to the fact that the Concord grapes I got this time were extremely juicy, so there may have been more liquid than usual. The spoon trick is perfect. I filled 5 eight-ounce jars.
I believe I will be doing this all over again and gift wrapping them nicely as Christmas presents!
This Concord grape jam is full-flavored, rich, aromatic, thick, and nicely textured, with a regal luxurious look in the pan and in the jar. The hint of citrus is a pleasant addition. The taste brought back memories of my mother’s and my grandmother’s Concord grape jam and Concord grape wine. Toss in a little memory of Mogen David wine as well! And what’s most wonderful is to fall in love with grape jam all over again! This is nothing like the ubiquitous little tasteless packets of grape jelly in diners or even Welch’s grape jelly.
The first challenge—finding Concord grapes—was surprisingly easy! I called Whole Foods and they had them. So did my local produce market, and so did my local Jewel (part of Albertsons). However, when I asked at my produce market about how long these grapes would be in season, I was told it’s a short season this year. If you miss the season this year, mark this recipe for next fall!
The next part, squeezing out the flesh from the skins, was fun and surprisingly easy: they popped right out! When my pot was boiling, I did need to turn it down a couple of times—just slightly each time. When I tested at the 20-minute mark, I left the pot boiling, and the jam tested done. Next time, I’ll either start testing at 15 minutes, or turn the heat off while performing the doneness test: it got a little beyond an easily spreadable consistency. My batch yielded no white foam needing to be skimmed off from the surface.
For holiday gift-giving, this recipe could easily be multiplied out to double or beyond, or, for quick home use, it could also be halved. It’s quick and easy enough to make a special batch for breakfast or brunch!