Thursday, April 7, 2016

Canning Grapes

Thanks to all who chimed in and gave me advice on canning grapes!  I, after some people mentioned canning grapes without peeling them (which didn't sound like a fun day to me *laugh*) went and looked it up in my Ball Home Preserving Book and sure enough you don't have to peel grapes to can them and they are REALLY simple to can!  So, I figured I'd share really quickly how to do it!

Canning Grapes (Paraphrased from "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving" 2006 edition)

You will need:
  • 1 batch hot light or medium syrup*
  • 8 lbs grapes, stemmed, treated to prevent browning (I just put them in a big bowl of water with a couple of nice big squirts of lemon juice) and drained
1.  Prepare canner, jars and lids to canning safety specifications.

2.  Ladle 1/2 cup syrup into each jar.  Fill jar with grapes to within a generous 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar.  Gently shake jar to pack grapes closely without crushing.  Add hot syrup to cover grapes, if necessary (I always found it necessary), leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles if needed and adjust headspace, adding syrup if needed.  Center lid on jar.  Screw band down to finger tip tight.

3.  Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process pint (500 ml) jars for 15 minutes and quart (1 L) jars for 20 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

*Light Syrup (yields 6 1/2 cups syrup)

You will need:
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar (550 mL)
  • 5 1/4 cups water (1.3 L)

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until mixture boils and sugar is completely dissolved.  Reduce heat to low and keep warm until needed, taking care not to boil syrup down.

Notes:  A lot of times, if I'm not sure I'll have a proper weight of, say in this case, grapes for a recipe like this I'll just make up a full batch of syrup and can what I need and just throw away any syrup that is left over.  Luckily, I did end up using a good portion of the syrup anyway, so that worked out.  I canned some in 1/2 pint measures to throw into things like fruit salad (well and I ran out of pint jars that I could find, sooo I adapted *laugh*) and I will process those as long as the pints just to be on the safe side since they didn't include 1/2 pint processing times.

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