Author Notes: Had to post in honor of the lovely Merrill. Many grapes this season. Grapes gleaned from Rhythm & Roots (music festival ) in Charlestown RI over Labor Day. Wild & wine grapes from Vermont a week later. Then some other grapes from my parents field in NH. Inspired by several 1940is recipes I've accumulated over the years. Thinking this would be good in a blind baked tart shell, with cheese, or with a holiday ham, perhaps a Christmas goose... Happy Baby! - Helen's All Night Diner
Makes 5 12 oz jelly jars
- 3 pounds Concord type grapes
- 1/2 large lemon
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 cup chopped dates
- 1 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- Rinse the grapes. Remove the stems & roughly chop in a food processor. Or, you can put your grapes in a large soup pot and chop them with a hand blender.
- Place the grapes in a large soup pot. Gently heat the mashed grapes with 1 cup water until the juice flows, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Run through a food mill or sieve to remove seeds & skins.
- Add grape puree to a preserving pan or soup-type pot. Remove seeds from the lemon & dice (including rind). Add to grape puree along with the sugar, dates, and raisins.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until thick, about 45 minutes (I know, it's a labor of love) or until about 220 degrees on a candy thermometer.
- While the grape mixture is simmering: Get out your water bath canner. Fill with water & bring to a simmer. You can either simmer your jelly jars ( you'll need 5 12 oz jars with lids & bands) in the water bath canner for 10 minutes or roast them in the oven @225 for 10 minutes to sterilize.
- In another pot, add the lids & bands & cover with water. Bring to a boil & hold on low until conserve is ready.
- Back to the conserve... Put a small plate in the freezer for 10 minutes. After the conserve is about 220 degrees, you'll need to check the set. Take the plate out of the freezer & put about 1 tea of conserve on the plate. Put back in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Take out & slowly run your finger through it. If the mixture is thick & wrinkles when you do this, you can move on.
- Once mixture is properly set, add in the walnut pieces. Stir & let cook for 3 more minutes. Skim off any remaining foam.
- Remove jars from water bath or oven. Fill jars with conserve, leaving 1/2" head space. Seal with lids & bands, screw down to loosely finger tight. I always err on the side of caution, so I then process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the canner & let cool. Any jars that don't seal (lid will flex up & down) should be eaten right away & stored in the fridge.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Holiday Confection