31 October 2010

It's Okay Not to be Perfect Grape Syrup

This morning, I did something I'd never done before: I left my apartment in my college sweatshirt (complete with holes I cut in the bottom of the sleeves for my thumbs to make half-mittens - winters are COLD where I went to school) and walked out onto the streets of Paris in it. Okay, so I went to the ATM machine and put my sister in a taxi for the airport, but still. This in a country where people put on their makeup to go to the boulangerie (the distance equivalent of going to the end of the driveway to get the paper in America). I thought "what was I so worried about before? That people would think I was American? I AM American." See, I've been so worried about fitting in for the past few years that I sometimes forget that it's okay to be me. Not perfect, not French, not a morning a person, and all that jazz.

So, in my new-found free to be me-ness, I'm going to admit that this grape syrup wasn't supposed to be grape syrup at all. It was supposed to be grape jelly. After getting grapes in my CSA, I was inspired by Camille's idea on Seasonal Market Menus 10/13. I looked up some jelly recipes and, frankly, it didn't look that hard. I've never made grape jelly before, but there's a first time for everything. (Maybe there still will be a first time for grape jelly, who knows.)

Here's what I did. I washed almost 3 lbs of grapes and boiled them in a pot until they were soft (about 15 minutes). I didn't have a jelly bag, or cheesecloth, so I let the grape pulp strain through a coffee filter for a few hours until the liquid had collected. I measure out the juice (I had 2 1/2 cups), put it in a pot and brought it to a boil. I slowly stirred in 2 1/2 cups white sugar and stirred constantly without letting it boil until the syrup had thickened (again about 15 minutes, maybe a bit less). Then I poured it into clean jars and set aside to cool.

If you try this recipe and get grape jelly from it, tell me how you did it! Also if you've successfully made grape jelly, I want to hear about it.

For now, I'm perfectly happy being me with my fresh grape syrup, which I've been eating on pancakes, over ice cream, in fruit salad... any way I can!


Anonymous said...

Oh my God! The same exact thing happened to me! Down to the coffee filter. :) What I have is either a very thick syrup or a very thin jelly. But it tastes great, so who's complaining?

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That syrup loooks really good!



Hopie said...

Oh Camille, I'm so relieved to hear you say that! It wasn't just me! Maybe grape jelly is hard to make or organic grapes from the Loire valley are not particularly suited. But you're right, it's delicious anyway.

Rosa - Thanks! Have a good Sunday!

Ivy said...

Hopie I've never made grape jelly or jam as we call it here in Europe but if I was to make it from my experience I would use seedless grapes and boil them with the skin on with not much sugar about 1 kilo grapes 300 grams sugar and use for flavouring fragrant geranium leaves or vanilla if you can't get any.
Boiling grape juice until it is reduced is an ancient method in Greece called petimezi or epsima in Cyprus.


Amy said...

A friend of mine in college had this happen as well...we made homemade grape ice cream in a hand-cranked ice cream maker!

Julie said...

Hope - This looks delicious. I bet it would be great on angel food or pound cake. The color is beautiful.

Katharine said...

I am so proud of you for going out in Paris in your college sweatshirt! How bold! What next? Grape syrup on pancakes? That sounds American too - look out world, here she comes, WITHOUT makeup! Geesh!

Sam said...

I don't think I've ever tried grape jelly (or syrup!) before but it sounds delicious. I grow my own grapes in my garden, they'd be perfect for this.

To make it set have you tried adding pectin?

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