MUSCADINE JAM WITH MARSALA
The Bounty Of Central Florida by Valerie Hart
Yield: Fills 8 (1/2-Pint) Jelly Jars
• 3½ cups strained juice from the Fry Muscadine grape (Approximately 3 pounds whole grapes)
• 6 quart non-reactive pot
• 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
• Fine mesh strainer or jelly bag or 3 layers cheesecloth
• 7-7½ cups granulated sugar, depending on sweetness of grapes
• 1 pouch liquid fruit pectin (3 ounces)
1. Prepare lids and jars as directed in the pectin box instructions.
2. Pick a combination of ripe and almost ripe firm grapes. Wash and remove stems from grapes. Set into the pot with the Marsala wine. Cover and cook over low heat approximately 20 minutes, or until grapes are very soft. Cool 30 minutes.
3. Mash grapes with a potato masher to extract the juice.
4. Wet and ring out 3 layers of cheesecloth Hold it over a large bowl and pour the grapes and juice in, pulling the cloth up into a bundle. When all the juice has dripped through, stir the grapes with a wooden spoon to get all the juice. Discard the grape skins and seeds. Cover the bowl of juice and let it sit several hours so any sediment will fall to the bottom. Strain through the cheesecloth again into the pot.
5. If you cannot find cheesecloth, let the grape juice flow through a large fine mesh strainer. Push as much juice through as possible. Discard the grape skins and seeds and strain a second time. Cover the bowl of juice and let it sit several hours so any sediment will fall to the bottom. Strain again into the pot.
6. Bring the juice to the boiling point. Add the sugar and stir until it reaches the boiling point again. Add the liquid pectin, stirring, as it comes to a full boil. Boil, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and immediately skim off any foam from the top.
7. Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling 1/9th from the tops. Wipe any excess from the tops with wet paper towels. Seal tightly and turn upside down for 5 minutes. Turn upright As jars begin to cool, press the center of their lids with your fingers. They should pop and then settle flat. If any remain puffy, they must be refrigerated. Otherwise, store in a cool, dry, dark place. Refrigerate jelly after opening.
Note: If you eliminate the Marsala wine, use 3 2/3 cups juice and 1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice.