Concord Grape Jelly


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    3½ cups

    (4 half-pint jars)

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About

This is the grape used for Concord grape wine and, of course, commercial grape jelly, the classic companion to peanut butter in sandwiches. The back roads around Hope, New Jersey, where my husband, Elliott, and I live, are filled with Concord grape vines and the winy, juicy grapes make wonderful jelly (pictured). I was inspired to turn these grapes into jelly by my friend Diane Kniss, who lives in Woodstock, New York, and makes tons of jars every fall to offer as much appreciated Christmas presents. The flavor of homemade grape jelly is incomparable.


Concord grapes (4 pounds to allow for bad grapes and stems) 9⅓ cups 3 pounds 8 ounces 1,588 grams
water 1 cup (237 ml) 8.4 ounces 237 grams
sugar 3 cups 21.2 ounces 600 grams

Special Equipment

Four half-pint canning jars (see Notes) | A canning pot or large pot with a rack (see Notes)


Make the Jelly

Wash the grapes, drain, and stem them, discarding any bad grapes. Weigh or measure the amount of grapes needed.

Prepare the Jars

Sterilize the canning jars by filling them with boiling water. Also pour boiling water over the inside of the lids. Set the rack in the bottom of the canning pot and bring enough water to a boil to cover the jars by 1 inch.

In a large saucepan, place the well-drained grapes and the water. With a potato masher or large fork, crush the grapes slightly. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the grapes for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they have collapsed completely.

Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the pits and skins. You should have cups/828 ml of pulp (29.5 ounces/836 grams).

Empty the pulp into a clean saucepan and stir in the sugar. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.

Boil, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. As the conserve begins to thicken, lower the heat to a simmer to avoid scorching and stir constantly until it reaches the gelling point. (An instant-read thermometer should read 221° to 225°F/105° to 107°C.)

To test the thickness of the mixture without a thermometer, remove the pan from the heat and dip a large clean metal spoon into it. Let the liquid fall back into the pan. The last 2 drops should merge and sheet off the spoon. (Or place a tablespoon of the liquid on a chilled plate and freeze it for 2 minutes, or until cold. It should wrinkle when pushed gently with a fingertip.)

Can the Jelly

Pour the hot jelly into the sterilized jars, leaving inch headspace. Do not scrape the pan or it may cause lumping. (If lumping occurs, straining will not help because it causes the jelly to thin.) Screw on the caps and place the jars on the rack in the water bath. Cover, return the water to a boil, and boil the jars for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and let them cool on a folded towel before checking the seal. (When you press on the center of the lid, it will feel totally firm and unyielding.)

Concord grapes vary in acidity from year to year, which affects thickening. The jelly takes 2 days in the jar to thicken completely and should not be moved during this time. If, after that time, it has not thickened sufficiently, it can be emptied into a pan and cooked for a few minutes more to the proper gelling point.


In a dark area: cool room temperature, at least 2 years.