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My mother used to make homemade grape jelly and juice, and I was unable to get her recipe before she passed away. Could you supply me with some recipes I could use?

People with extensive knowledge of canning, passed on through oral tradition and time honored recipes are few and far between and I am afraid we may be losing some valuable information.

However, the USDA recipe for making grape juice sounds like a similar procedure to the one your mother used. You can find it on the web at:
. You will need the Acrobat “plug in” for your web browser to see the recipe. I also found an alternative that does not involve the cooking step at This site is maintained by the Alltrista Corporation, the people who make Ball and Kerr jars, and has a lot of useful information about their products.

I know from experience that some types of grapes, particularly “wild” varieties seem to taste better and provide more juice if they are cooked, while some of the more delicate cultivated varieties lose much of their flavor when heated. Very large commercial jelly makers will even collect the steam off of the jelly as it cooks, condense it and use it as a concentrated grape flavor, either back into the jelly or in other products.

The Sure-Jell package will contain information on how to make the jelly. Grape juice is very easy to work with.

We do not recommend paraffin covering of jelly anymore. The new lids and bands are much more reliable and do not need the second seal as long as they are used correctly. There is no danger if you want to use paraffin as well, but I don’t think it is necessary. People also used to use paraffin alone and for jelly it does not present a safety issue, but your jelly is more likely to mold.


Douglas L. Holt, Ph.D., Chair, Food Science and Extension Specialist, University of Missouri-Columbia






Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009



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