spiced grape jelly

magnificent fall colors in Umbria

I love October in Umbria. Soon the winter sadness will descend on us, but right now colors are working full-time. Everywhere is golden and red. Everything seems to taste sweet, chestnuts, pears, grapes. There’s wonderful grapes everywhere.

We are the lucky owners of a 1/2 century old vine-arbor. We don’t make wine with the fruits, too much of a fuss. We just leave the bunches there to capture the last bits of sun. During one of those mellow afternoons, I go outside to harvest them and enjoy the technicolor.

a gorgeous sunset from our terrace

I pick the best bunches, put them in a large bucket, sit comfortably with (dog) Google at my feet and remove all the stems.

Then I pour the cleaned grapes in a cauldron and heat it until the grapes start bursting. I subsequently proceed to sieve the grapes through a mouli to remove skins and seeds.

Next, I transfer the filtered grape juice back into the cauldron where I bring it to slow boil and let it simmer until is reduced by half. Finally I can make the jelly.

For that, I use same amounts of sugar and reduced grape juice (weight), powdered pectin according to package instruction, the zest of 1/2 lemon, 2 cloves and 1 inch cinnamon stick per liter/quart grape juice.

The whole process takes several hours. A small mountain of tiny wine grapes only yields a few precious jars. Every year I think I am crazy. Every year I hope I have captured some of the last sun in the jar.

grape jelly made with green and red wine grapes

18 thoughts on “spiced grape jelly

  1. I wish I can taste this my goodness this is an amazing jelly, I used to make grape jelly from my fathers grapevine every year, concord grapes. It was so fresh and the smell was heavenly I so miss those days! This brought back fabulous memories of him, thanks so much! Someday I hope to get some fresh grapes and make your recipe!


  2. Our red & greens are almost ready, too! I will follow your recipe this year, knowing that the results will be delicious – even if my grapes are not Umbrian. warmest Autumn regards, my friend – Amos


  3. Hi Letizia, I am in Liguria. The year before last I did what you did and laboriously made grape jelly from the vines on our orto, but last year I just rinse the grapes and sorted through for any that were going off and made juice using the steam juicer. I didn’t have to made anything then, so I froze the juice. This spring I made grape jelly, which was particularly well received by the grandchildren as they don’t like bits. I usually do blackberry and apple jelly as well and the steam juicer makes it so easy. I was looking at you blog for ideas. I made persimmon jam which was OK, but nothing special, so I look forward to trying your recipe. I also made kiwi jam last year when a neighbour gave us more than we could eat and it was lovely. I like you photographs! Romilly


    1. Hi Romilly, I am glad you enjoy the juice steamer. It’s really great if one has to make large amounts of jellies from impossible fruit! Did you see my elderberry jelly? That’s also a though one! Persimmon is particularly difficult and bland when cooked alone. That’s why I mixt if with oranges and spices. That’s great to fill jam tarts like my crostata. Let me know how it goes. I will soon start with figs jam, they are almost ready on our trees.


  4. Hi Letizia,
    Your recipe looks great – how many kilos of grapes do you use for your recipe?
    Look forward to your feedback


    1. Hi Tina, I generally pick 3-4 kg of grapes but, as explained in the recipe I only weight the juice to be able to add the other ingredients. It only yelds a few jars but it’s a fun process if you like to precess fruit as I do. Enjoy!


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