Autumn is here.
That means wild grapes are ripening.
Vitis labrusca (fox grape) grows all over New England. The fruit is large and sweet, perfect for making jelly. Wild grapes contain polyphenols and antioxidants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and limit inflammation.
After a morning of foraging, we came home with about 4 cups of wild grapes, a large bowl of autumn olive berries and some beautiful acorns we found with the cap still attached, which we plan to do crafts with.
To make the jelly, we first have to crush the fruit with a potato masher. The pulp simmers in a 1/4 cup of water for about 15 minutes.
After straining out the pulp and letting the juice sit overnight, sugar is added and the mixture is boiled until it becomes thick. It’s then poured into mason jars and refrigerated.
Wild Grape Jelly
from Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons
- 4 cups wild grapes
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Wash and stem the fruit. Place in a saucepan and crush with a potato masher. Add water, cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Strain out the juice and discard the pulp and seeds.
Let the juice sit overnight to let the tartrate crystallize and settle to the bottom of the container or cling to the sides. If it crystallizes in the jelly, it will make it gritty.
Carefully pour off the juice into a measuring glass. Use an equal amount of sugar. (If you have 1 1/2 cups of juice, add 1 1/2 cups of sugar.) Bring to a rapid boil and boil until it is thickened. When you pull the spoon out, a few drops of jelly will drip and the final drip will hang off the spoon, that’s when you have yourself jelly. Pour into mason jars and seal.