A whole lot of time in the test kitchen (smile) has been going on in our household since we returned from our Colorado trip. If you follow me on instagram (@lauracatherineo) or twitter, you’ve already seen a few sneak peaks at this adventure.
I’m excited to share this homemade muscadine jam recipe with you! This will be a photo-driven post with short descriptions, so keep reading.
We are beyond blessed to have scored a large muscadine vine in our backyard. It was planted before we got here, and I am so thankful for it! On a whim last week, I decided to begin to pick the fresh grapes off the vine. They were super ripe and delicious. I kept going until I couldn’t stand the heat or danger any longer. I didn’t weigh the bag, but this I filled a grocery store bag (the recyclable ones that look like a tote) about 1/3 of the way full. It was heavy!
Next step? To look for muscadine jam recipes. After realizing that traditional jarring was a bit involved, I called my dad to see how he tackled the project. I remembered him gifting me some peach jam last year. He told me to forget the traditional jarring process and instead go with freezer jam. Sounded easy enough. He was coming for a visit last weekend and promised to bring his freezer pectin (seen right).
To make muscadine freezer jam, you need muscadine juice! Instead of buying a potato masher (as the instructions said), I filled a large plate with muscadine grapes (covering about half the surface) and put a matching plate on top. Then, p-u-s-h the plates together.
The result? Beautiful, fresh muscadine juice, small batches at a time. I held the plates together over a large bowl and let the juice drop down. This process was repeated until I’d pressed all of the grapes. You want to juice enough muscadines to get 1 and 2/3 cups of fresh juice. I snapped a photo of the juice below, so you can get an idea of the color/consistency. Remember to strain your juice before you make your jam!
Instructions below, but please follow the instructions on your freezer pectin and refer to my sidenote below.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of freezer pectin (make sure it’s the freezer variety, not regular pectin) with ¾ cups of sugar in a bowl (see sidenote below about amount of pectin – you may want to go ahead and use 4 tbsp instead of 2 to save time and ensure a good set).
- Slowly mix in your 1 and 2/3 cups of fresh muscadine juice (strained), stirring for 3 minutes.
- Pour in freezer safe glass jar (with lid) and freeze for around 30 minutes.
- Remove and stir, make sure jam is set.
- Then, refrigerate. Refer to sidenote below regarding pectin and setting.
My result? Delicious muscadine jam. The above recipe yields 2 (8 oz) half pints of jam. If you’re on a roll with your grape juicing, repeat the process to make another batch! I found that I could actually get a “second press” out of my grapes to yield close to as much juice as the first round.
It tastes so delicious and sweet! I’m glad I tackled this recipe, and didn’t give up when my jam wasn’t quite set yet.
Sidenote: Did Your Jam Set?
I found that I had to more than double the amount of pectin called for to get my muscadine jam to set (so instead of 2 tablespoons, I used 4). I believe this is necessary because I used the juice only (didn’t want to bother with removing seeds from the insides of the grapes). For example, if using strawberries or other fruit, you would mash and use the flesh of the fruit. If you find that your jam is not set (or gelled) properly, do not fear. Simply pour into a mixing bowl and add in more pectin. I added 2 more tablespoons, but you may need more or less. Then, mix for 3 minutes and re-freeze, then stir and refrigerate. Repeat once more if you still don’t get a good set. It will be worth it!
I’m a marketing professional/graphic designer who loves a great DIY (do it yourself) project and an adventure in cooking or sewing.
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