When we went apple picking a couple of weeks ago, I had heard that the orchard also had grapes. But, I did not know what kind of grapes nor what time of the year was their peak for picking.
Living in Colorado, for a few years, I had a friend who had a concord grape vine in her backyard and we would pick and make the best grape jelly I've ever had. But, after she moved - concord grapes have been hard to come by for the past decade plus.
Upon arriving at the apple orchard, we gathered all of our info as to which apples were ready for picking and where the various varieties were located throughout the orchard. I inquired about the grapes and yes, they were concord and ready for picking! Oh. my. I was so excited!
To be at the apple orchard was such a treat for me and I had the very best day - but this was truly an extra blessing on our visit!
I picked and brought home about six pounds which made enough juice for my jelly plus just a small bit for drinking.
That night when we returned home, the girls helped me de-stem the grapes and I made the juice that very night! I didn't want to risk putting this off and losing these grapes that I've had such trouble finding!
Just in case you stumble upon some concord grapes and want to try your own jelly - here's my favorite way to make it.
Wash, de-stem and remove seeds (if yours have seeds, these did not) 14 c. concord grapes. Put in a pan with 2 c. water. Cover. Heat to boiling; cook slowly until very tender; about 30 minutes. At this point your house will smell a.m.a.z.i.n.g.
Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth or muslin. Let juice stand 24 hours in the fridge and strain again. Isn't it a pretty color?
Mix 5 c. juice and 1 package pectin. Boil on high until the boiling doesn't stop when stirred. Add 7 c. sugar and stir quickly. Boil exactly 1 minute.
Remove from heat and pour into jars. My batch made four and a half pints.
Invert jars or water bath can to seal. My preferred method for jam and jelly is just to invert the jars until the lids get nice and hot and then flip them over. All of my jars sealed just doing this.