This past weekend while out on a bike ride, my wife and I came across some wild grapes. They were growing rampantly along a roadside fence in Campbellville. There was a length of about 200 meters of beautiful bunches of grapes. Having had a goal this summer to forage something and make a finished product. While finishing up the ride, I decided to make jelly. The following day I took a drive back with a bucket, and filled it to the brim with the slightly tart 1 cm wide grapes. After getting home I took to stemming them and was left with 7 lbs of grapes. Online I found the following recipe on food.com and set to work.
3 lbs wild grapes, stemmed
3 cups water
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 (85 ml) package liquid pectin
1. In large saucepan, crush grapes with potato masher; pour in water and bring to boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until fruit is very soft.
3. Transfer to jelly bag or colander lined with a double thickness of fine cheesecloth and let drip overnight.
4. Measure juice (you should have 3 cups/750 ml) into a large heavy saucepan; stir in sugar.
5. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
6. Stir in pectin.
7. Return to full boil and boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.
8. Remove from heat and skim off foam with a metal spoon.
9. Pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/8-inch headspace.
In the end I made two separate batches (you should never double a jelly recipe, make batches), which made 12 250ml jars, and have 5 cups of juice left. I might try to make a concentrate. Growing up my grandpa would make this condensed juice. You would add the contents of the small bottle and 4 equal parts of water and you would end up with delicious grape juice. The jelly set, and its super sweet. All in all it was a success. Hopefully some more hikes and rides will open up some more of natures free goods ready for the picking.