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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Grapes

My grapevine is absolutely overloaded with grapes.  The bunches are becoming so heavy that they are dragging the vine down with their weight.  One large bunch actually fell off today.  The problem is that they are just not ripe enough yet.  They are a lovely variety, small and seedless, but they just need a bit longer before they are ready to eat.

Working on the basis that if you have fruit you can make jam, I picked a few more and experimented today. I only made one pot of jam and it's actually very nice...although the colour isn't so appealing:


I just wondered if anyone else has made grape jam?  Or better still, does anyone have any suggestions for preserving or using these unripened grapes?   I will have to pick some more tomorrow to prevent the vine from collapsing under the weight, so any tips would be most welcome.

7 comments:

  1. If I had that many seedless grapes I would consider grape juice, wine, raisins, or just freeze them whole for later use. We usually freeze most of ours and use them as a thickener for other berry jams and surups. We also like to use them in our morning smoothies...seeds and all.

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  2. Mr H: Well I don't think I'm ready for wine making yet! Although FIL took a cutting from the vine which is doing well and is yet to be replanted, so maybe next year.But you've given me a couple of ideas. I wasn't sure if you could freeze them, so now I know you can. It was either you or Heiko who mentioned before that they could be used as a natural pectin so if I can freeze them unripened this will be useful.
    Also I have dried out grapes before when we lived in Cappadocia and had lots of raisins but they were seeded and not so nice. Also I wasn't sure that you could dry them unripened, but you've answered that question for me too. I use a lot of raisins in cooking so I will start drying some today.
    Thanks Mr H xx

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  3. Make verjus...the juice of unripe grapes, sterilise and bottle. Better than vinegar for salads.

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  4. Fly: I just had to google verjus because I hadn't heard of it. It seems like a complicated, lengthy process, according to a couple of sites I found. I don't do complicated and lengthy processes!! BUT I wonder if you can just crush the grapes and filter the juice into sterilised bottles without any additional ingredients? That would still be OK wouldn't it? As a substitute for lemon or vinegar in salad dressings.

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  5. It might go off after a while, but it should be O.K. for a time if you keep it in the fridge.
    I don't take much notice of the recipes...a neighbour just used to crush and filter, sterilise and use.

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  6. My only suggestion for using them for jam would be to either use a food processor to make a smoother texture or you can use a food mill then you will not have those big chunks of grapes on your toast. However, if that didn't bother you keep doing what you doing.

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  7. Fly: Oh well I can have a go at this much simpler version then..fingers crossed it works.

    likeschocolate: I actually like the big chunks of fruit in jam. I had hoped to achieve that with the plums but they were too hard to be able to remove the stones before boiling, so I removed them after, finally putting the mixture through a seive to make sure I'd removed all the stones...hence the smooth jam. But if you say keep doing what I'm doing, I'm reassured that I'm doing OK!

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