This homemade grape jam has just enough sugar, needs no pectin and makes a beautiful garnish for your toast, charcuterie board or even a PBJ.
My kids know that we always have jam in the house. I don’t have a pantry full of jars because I am constantly making jam with whatever fruit is in season and on hand.
I got my love of jams and jam making from my mother’s side of the family. It’s in my blood. I was so intimidated the first time I made jam and quickly realized that it is ridiculously easy to make ANY kind of jam.
Most of the time, I eye ball the amount of sugar because I do not like my jam super sugary. Don’t have enough peaches to make a full jar of peach jam? Throw in a few strawberries to make up for it.
I like in San Diego and we have been growing grapes in our backyard for the past 5-6 years. We finally figured out what we are doing last year and had our first bumper crop of red grapes.
This year we are going to have even more grapes to harvest, so this homemade grape jam is only the beginning of the many grape recipes coming your way!
Why you have to try this recipe
You usually see grape jelly at the store more so than grape jam. Jelly is made with just the juice of the fruit. Sometimes you have no choice in the matter, like when you make pomegranate jelly.
But grapes have pulp and their skin is equally delicious in a jam. You can make grape jam with any kind of grapes, from green to red to purple. I wish I could tell what kind of grapes I used in this jam, but my husband and I have no idea what kind of grapes are growing in our yard!
But I can tell you by August, the grapes are red and sweet. Even the bunches with a few rogue green grapes are sweet. And making grape is crazy easy.
You can use the jam any number of different ways, from topping your buttered toast or poured over a baked brie. Grape jam isn’t just for a PBJ anymore!
See my Grape Jam Web Story for a quick visual guide to making this recipe.
Ingredients you need
- Grapes: You can make jam with any color of grape (green, red, purple). It will be much easier to use seedless grapes. If your grapes have seeds, then you have to go through the trouble of removing seeds.
- Sugar: This recipe uses granulated sugar to sweeten the jam. I also use the minimum amount of sugar, as I do not like an overly sugar jam. You can also use honey or brown sugar to sweeten jam.
- Lemon: The citric acid in lemon juice not only keeps the fruit from oxidizing, but it also adds natural pectin. No additional pectin is needed. For additional flavor, you can add grated lemon zest. You can also use orange juice/zest instead.
1. Remove grapes from stem, wash clean and drain of excess water. Place in a pot.
2. Add sugar and lemon juice and bring to boil over moderate heat. Stir frequently and skim off the foam. Break down the fruit with a potato masher while it cooks.
3. Continue cooking until jam is thick about 30-45 minutes. To test jam, add a teaspoonful on a chilled plate and place in the refrigerator. Jam is done when it sets after a minute or two. If you want a smoother jam, use a hand blender and blend everything in the pot.
4. If you are canning the jam, you will need to sanitize the jars. This can be done by hand washing with hot water and soap or by running the jars through the dishwasher. I have full directions on how to can using hot water here.
Recipe tips and FAQs
You can make jam all year long because there is a fruit for every season.
- Microwave your sanitized jars right before ladling the hot jam in. This keeps the jars from breaking from extreme swings in temperature.
- If you are canning, fight the urge to overfill the jars! Fill only to ½-inch from the top of the jar or else the jars will burst.
- Sweet fruit will need less sugar. I always err on the side of less sugar when making jam. If your fruit is not very sweet, taste the jam while it simmers and add more if you need it.
To test the jam, scoop a spoonful onto a cold plate and place it in the fridge for a few minutes. If the jam looks thick after it sets in the fridge, it’s ready!
Yes! A good rule of thumb is to use half the amount of honey as you would sugar. So for every 1 cup of sugar, use ½ cup of honey. And of course, you can adjust the sweetness as your jam is cooking, so use less at first because you can always add more honey.
Absolutely! Be sure to use the right container for freezing. Glass can shatter, so be careful. There are plastic freezer jars available that you can use. Again, do not overfill as jam will expand while it freezes.
- 2 lb seedless grapes, any variety
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- Remove grapes from stem, wash clean and drain of excess water. Place in a large heavy bottom pot.
- Add sugar and lemon juice and bring to boil over moderate heat. Stir frequently and skim off the foam. Break down the fruit with a potato masher while it cooks.
- Continue cooking until jam is thick about 30-45 minutes. To test jam, add a teaspoonful on a chilled plate and place in the refrigerator. Jam is done when it sets after a minute or two. If you want a smoother jam, use a hand blender and blend everything in the pot.
- If you are canning the jam, you will need to sanitize the jars. This can be done by hand washing with hot water and soap or by running the jars through the dishwasher. I have full directions on how to can using hot water.
I add the minimum amount of sugar to my jams, as I want to taste the fruit and not the sugar. If your grapes are on the sour side, add more sugar as it cooks until you get to the desired sweetness.
Serving Size:1 TBS
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 33Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 0g
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