“To preserve the intense flavour of the ripe grapes, I use less sugar than usually recommended for fruit jellies, substituting with a jam setting mix. It really is a matter of tasting the fruit before you add the sugar to determine what sweetness level you prefer.”
1.5kg grapes (2-3 bunches) of ripe Pinotage grapes
-1 cinnamon stick
a few whole cloves
half a lemon cut into wedges
1/2 cup water
commercial jam set mix
Place the whole bunches of grapes, stems and all, into a saucepan with the cinnamon stick, whole cloves, lemon wedges and water.
Break a few of the berries with the back of a spoon to aid the juicing process.
Cook slowly for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Place the contents of the saucepan into a jelly bag and let it drip overnight into a receptacle. Totally resist the temptation to squeeze the bag.
Measure the liquid as you pour it back into the saucepan. Bring the juice to a rolling boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Then add 3/4 cup of sugar for each cup of liquid. If the grapes are very ripe with a high sugar content, you might like to halve the sugar and add some jam setting mix (a combination of glucose, pectin and citric acid) – 20 grams should be sufficient for about 4 cups of juice.
Now bring the juice and sugar back to the boil, stirring well to ensure the sugar is completely dissolved. Simmer until the liquid has reached the setting stage – be careful not to overcook.
Pour into clean jars and leave for 24 hours to set.