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Thread: Grape Preserves Won't Thicken...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Southern New Jersey
    Posts
    2,859

    Grape Preserves Won't Thicken...

    This is a recipe I've used in the past; it's scrumptious. The original called for 1 1/2 lbs. of grapes to 2 1/2 cups of sugar, and I cut it down to one for one, which I'm almost certain I've done in the past. But this time it wouldn't thicken, and we have to spread it with a spoon. Any ideas why?


    Spicy Grape Preserves
    2 lbs stemmed grapes

    1 tbsp. grated orange peel

    1 cup water
(I leave this out; squashing the grapes in the pot yields enough liquid)
    2 cups sugar

    ½ teaspoon cinnamon

    ½ teaspoon cloves


    ½ tsp ginger

    Wash grapes; separate skins from pulp. Cook pulp until soft; sieve to remove seeds. Add orange peel and water; cook 10 minutes. Add skins; heat to boiling. Add sugar and spices; cook till thick. Pour into hot, sterilized jars. Seal immediately. Or pour into hot, well-washed jars and store in refrigerator or freezer.
    Makes about 4 cups.

    Chacun à son goût!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Lone Star State
    Posts
    20,661
    Changing the sugar/acid/pectin ratios can definitely have an impact. You made a pretty big change, and if you are in one of the areas getting a lot of rain or your grapes are (which means anywhere but Texas where it's too hot and dry to grow much of anything ) you could also have more water to sugar and pectin in your grapes. I had the same problem with strawberries in a wet season. Very wet seasons give you fruit that is harder to gel.

  3. #3
    All of my Grape Jam or Preserves (those made without a jelling agent) say to include some green, or underripe, grapes to help thicken. One could add a little lemon juice or vinegar to help provide enough acidity.
    The cardiologist's diet: - If it tastes good spit it out!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Southern New Jersey
    Posts
    2,859
    We haven't gotten a lot of rain around here; we've been irrigating our garden most of the summer. And I do include plenty of green grapes; the only ones I toss are the spoiled ones. Maybe I should just have cooked it down more; I really didn't want to add more sugar because it's already very sweet. I'm pretty sure that I have used those proportions in the past, but last year the grapes didn't bear well so I skipped a year. This year after we picked, stemmed and weighed them we had eight pounds, which is more than we've ever had before. But the quantity shouldn't make a difference.

    What proportion of green to ripe do you think would be good? Perhaps I just didn't have enough of the green ones. And how green is green? With these grapes, even the ones that haven't colored up to a blush are still sweet.
    Chacun à son goût!

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