Small Batch

Concord Grape Jelly

September 10, 2013

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: To the delight of PB&J purists everywhere, Maggie Battista from Eat Boutique shares a recipe and step-by-step instructions for making Concord Grape Jelly at home.

Concord Grape Jelly on Food52

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To my nine-year-old self, Concord grapes only meant one thing: sweet sandwiches of toasted white bread filled with thick cream cheese and a hefty layer of store-bought jelly. About five years ago, I had an adult version of that sandwich at Duckfat in Portland, Maine. The chef made a warm dessert panini of mascarpone cheese and Concord grape jelly dusted with powdered sugar that was easily heaven on a plate. 

Thanks to a hidden stash growing in the woods behind my house, Concord grapes have transcended yet again. Once summer starts to fade, my 60-year-old Italian nonna of a neighbor and I meet in the woods to pick grapes, lament our overgrown gardens, and compare recipes. We make a few pints of Concord Grape Jelly and meet over toast with jelly all winter long. 

My friend Heidi shared her Concord Grape Jelly recipe with me last year. It’s based on the Ball Canning Guide recipes from the 1970s. With the grape harvest from a local farm, she photographed the entire process for me -- lucky me!  

Concord Grape Jelly

Makes approximately 3 pints

2 quarts Concord grapes, stemmed
6 cups sugar

Concord Grape Jelly on Food52

Briskly boil grapes on the stovetop until whole grapes “pop” under the pressure of a spoon. Transfer to a canning sieve and press the pulp, reserving the juice that flows through.

Concord Grape Jelly on Food52

Squeeze the remaining pulp through cheesecloth to save every last drop of grape juice.

Concord Grape Jelly on Food52

Add all the juice to a saucepan with the sugar. Cook slowly until the sugar has dissolved, then rapidly boil the sweet juice until you reach the jellying point.

Use the “plate test” to determine when the jelly is ready: Before you begin cooking, stash a couple small plates or saucers in your freezer. To test the cooked jam, take out one of the plates and drop a small spoonful in the center. Let it sit for a minute or so, then test the jam with your finger. If it’s formed a skin and seems to be solidifying, it's ready. If it's still runny, it needs to cook a bit longer.

Concord Grape Jelly on Food52

Pour the boiling hot jelly into prepared canning jars. Leave a 1/2-inch headspace if using Weck jars.

More: Don't be scared of boiling water canning. Here's how to do it right.

Concord Grape Jelly

Process in a boiling water canning bath for 10 minutes. Enjoy on toast all winter long.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Heidi Murphy/White Loft Studio

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • laurenlocally
  • BurgeoningBaker
  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs
  • eatboutique
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
Eat Boutique is the go-to resource for all things food gifts, including one-of-a-kind, small-batch products and inspirational articles and recipes.


laurenlocally September 11, 2013
Just received my first concord grapes of the year and can not wait to make this small batch over the weekend. Thanks Maggie!
eatboutique September 12, 2013
YAY Lauren :) xox
BurgeoningBaker September 11, 2013
The link to canning is formatted incorrectly.
Marian B. September 11, 2013
The link should be fixed -- sorry about that! Here it is for good measure:
Merrill S. September 10, 2013
This looks gorgeous!
eatboutique September 10, 2013
YAY, Merrill. I just love grape jelly. We need more Concord grapes on this planet! xox