Canning, Pickling, Gluten-free, Vegan/Vegetarian

Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free)

Nicoletta November 4, 2017

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Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free), has that deep, mystic, plum color, and a sweet grape flavor that goes well with a nice slice of toast, or better yet paired with delicious cheese on a platter, perfect for those up and coming parties.

Song of the day: Black – Pearl Jam.

Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free)

Before winter decided to surprise us and snow arrived to cover the beautiful Autumn colors with its pure white brightness, we were enjoying mild temperatures and outdoors activities. Proof is, that looking outside our backyard, everything seems to be frozen at summer time.

We did not have time to put everything away, pillows, bamboo table and chairs, some of the plants and statues. I guess we were living in denial that maybe this would be a long Autumn and a warm winter. But that wasn’t the case. A heavy blanket of snow covers now everything.

We cannot complain about what Summer and Autumn have given us in terms of produce. Our kitchen has been bustling with canning and preserving for a while (no pickling for me, I just cannot stand vinegar). So many jars, mostly jams, jellies, and chutney, are standing tall and proud on our pantry shelves, and few of them are going to become -hopefully welcomed- Christmas presents.

Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free)

My in-laws’ garden has a tiny but very fruitful concord grape vine tree, that climbs alongside their backyard fence. They had received some seeds and Loreto’s father was quick and curious to see if it would grow in this rather not so friendly grape growing climate. You see, my father in law Americo had a vineyard in Italy, producing 23,000 liters of wine that they sold and people came to buy. Growing grapes is in his blood, this time his craft was put to the test. Loreto said that when he asked his father if he thought they would grow he, in his usual calm and humorous way, said: “we will plant them and see what happens”. Their garden faces south and for the longest time, he had them planted against the house, which produced a few grapes. Americo had an aha moment one day as he was playing in the garden and a bountiful one at that, and thought about another place that would be better for growing grapes, out came the shovel, and the vine was transplanted beside a fence where to date that vine has grown and spread its wings bringing us quite an abundance of grapes. I can see where Loreto gets his drive, just like his father he is quick to act on those aha moments.

Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free)

It’s funny every year we are all amazed at this miracle that makes a not so suitable climate provide an explosion of little dark bunches of juicy grapes. Last year we made some Concord grape syrup that we used on pancakes, waffles,  yogurt and smoothies. This year, the production was even more luscious and we thought to make Concord Grape Jelly sans pectin.

From our garden to your table, Concord Grape Jelly (pectin free).

I asked our fellow Canadian bloggers for a good, trusted recipe for Concord grape jelly and one of our blogger friends, Jen, from Mud on her Boots, sent me a recipe that she had used and felt it might help. It is a recipe from Bernardin, the mason jar’s maker. It is an easy recipe that only requires very few ingredients, a specific tool that makes your life easier and that we invested in buying, and a whole lot of patience.

In order to make the jelly, first you need to make the juice.

Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free)

The aroma that comes off the stove is amazing (and a bit intoxicating). That sweet floral grape scent reminds us of the winemaking season, which Loreto is in the process of doing these days. I stirred and crushed the grapes with a wooden spoon releasing all those luscious juices and I am really excited to get this Concord Grape jelly made.

Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free)

Loreto purchased this Jelly strainer from Barb’s Kitchen, a place in Edmonton where you can go to find anything to do with cooking, from utensils, pots, pans, dried goods and baking needs, plus a whole lot more. If you are a foodie and ever in Edmonton, check out Barb’s Kitchen, you won’t be disappointed. One thing I wanted to say is that this process is quite messy especially when the juice drops splash and droplets go everywhere, and grape juice is not the easiest to get out! Loreto came to the rescue and wrapped plastic wrap around the legs and bowl, and there you have it, messy problem solved.

Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free)

When all the juice has dropped, the next phase is pretty easy. A combination of the Concorde grape juice, sugar and lemon juice goes into a pot. We used a heavy cast pot which holds the heat nice and evenly. Bring this to a boil and what happens is this sheen starts to form on top and the bubbles get thicker and stronger and you know you are so close to the end. Look at that deep color so rich looking and I bet it tastes incredible.

Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free)

Into some sterilized jars that amazing jelly goes, and on go the lids nice and tight, and into a canning pot with jars just covered with water and lid on the pot. Bring to boiling point, and the only thing left is to get them out using a jar tong that Loreto also bought at Barb’s Kitchen, let them cool, and put them on the shelf, well not all of them. After all, we have to try it!

Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free)-pinterest

I love the texture very Jello-like and so shimmery and deep in color. I toasted a slice of bread and slathered it with the grape jelly. One bite in and I am in awe at the intense, sweet but not too sweet, flavor of the jelly. It is like silk to my tongue and bite after bite I am experiencing that wonderful flavor of the Concord grapes. The best part is we know where they were grown, we definitely know that they are organic, and the most amazing thing is they were grown in a place where grapes are unheard of growing in. There are some things that can’t be explained, and so what! The fact remains this Concord Grape Jelly (Pectin Free) has amazing flavor and texture, and so it is!


Song of the day: Black – Pearl Jam.

Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free)

Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free)

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 3 jars 1x


Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free), has that deep, mystic, plum color, and a sweet grape flavor that goes well with a nice slice of toast, or better yet paired with delicious cheese on a platter, perfect for those up and coming parties.


For the grape juice:

  • 8 cups grapes
  • 34 cups water (just enough to cover the grapes)

For the jelly:

  • 3 cups grape juice
  • 2 cups berry sugar
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice


To make the juice:

  1. Remove the stems, and gently wash and drain the grapes.
  2. In a large stainless steel pot, add the grapes and just enough water to cover them.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring and crushing the grapes occasionally, just until the grapes are softened, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer crushed grapes to a dampened jelly bag set over a bowl.
  5. Cover the sides with plastic wrap to avoid any splashing, and let drip for at least 2 hours or overnight to collect the juice.

To make the jelly:

  1. Wash jars and lids. Place jars in a big pot filled with water and heat to a simmer (180° F – 80° C). Place the lids after you turn off the water, when the water it’s still hot but not simmering anymore.
  2. Keep them warm on a baking dish in a 250° F oven until ready to use.
  3. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine the grape juice with the sugar and lemon juice.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  5. Boil hard, stirring frequently, and skimming off the foam, for about 20-25 minutes, or until mixture begins to thicken and have that sheen on top.
  6. Quickly pour hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch space from the top.
  7. Wipe rim, put lid on and screw tight.
  8. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water, place lid on.
  9. Bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove lid and let cool for 5 minutes before taking jars out of canner and storing.


Remember that there is added time as you let the grapes drain the juice into a bowl.
Anywhere from 2 hours to overnight.

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Concord Grape Jelly (pectin-free)

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  • Avatar
    Reply kitchenfrau November 5, 2017 at 9:07 am

    That looks amazing, Nicoletta! I can’t believe those grapes are grown here in Edmonton! Now you have me inspired to try planting some, too. And you definitely have me inspired to try making jellies without pectin. I always thought you needed pectin to help the syrup jel, but you have the most beautiful and delicious proof that you don’t!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 5, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Aren’t they beautiful, Margaret? And that vine produced so many grapes, I cannot believe it! Yes, plant some and see! I never use pectin, nor in my jam, not in the jelly. And they both turn out great. Thank you so much!!

  • Avatar
    Reply annika November 6, 2017 at 8:49 am

    I have to keep this for next year. My father has been growing these, almost effortlessly for the past 30 years. They go underappreciated in our family but his Italian neighbours swear they are the best in the city and really appreciate his generosity!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 6, 2017 at 9:01 am

      So happy to be of any help, Annika! I love this type of grapes, so sweet, even the simple juice made from crushing them is amazing. But the jelly is really something else! This was my first time and I love it! Thanks for stopping by, always appreciate your comments!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sarah @ Champagne Tastes November 7, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I wasn’t able to get any concord grapes this year! I wish they were around longer.. but next time I see them, I should totally do this!!! So yummy!!!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 8, 2017 at 8:12 am

      Thank you, Sarah! It is yummy, good at breakfast but also with cheese. A bit labor intensive but so worth it 😉 !

  • Avatar
    Reply Corina November 8, 2017 at 5:44 am

    What a lovely recipe – I love its deep colour. It makes it look really tasty and just begs to be spread on some warm buttered toast!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 8, 2017 at 8:17 am

      Thank you! The color is just gorgeous, I know! I had it spread on toast and it’s delicious!

  • Avatar
    Reply Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen November 8, 2017 at 6:57 am

    I haven’t heard of berry sugar before! I love how simple this recipe is, and it looks so gorgeously vibrant in those jars. YUM!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 8, 2017 at 6:59 am

      Hi! Berry sugar is the finest granulated sugar, sorry I had to explain that. The jelly is so good spread on toast or biscuits! Thank you for your comment.

  • Avatar
    Reply Gloria Duggan November 9, 2017 at 6:37 am

    Yup you got me at “cheese on a platter”. I was just planning the food for an upcoming party….and this would be the perfect addition….however, unfortunately it WILL NOT be YOUR delicious jam….but that would be AWESOME!!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 10, 2017 at 7:09 am

      Yes, Gloria the jelly would compliment a cheese platter so well! Plus, it looks gorgeous with that color 😊. Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply gingeredwhisk November 9, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Lovely! I have kind of given up on grape jelly as being just so flavorless and boring – but I bet yours tastes great! The color is so vibrant!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 10, 2017 at 7:10 am

      Thanks so much! I wouldn’t describe this jelly as flavorless, it has so much flavor and texture that makes your tongue tingles… 😄

  • Avatar
    Reply Leslie November 10, 2017 at 7:49 am

    It’s funny… I can’t stand the grape jelly that you can buy in stores, but I LOVE homemade. I’m going to have to try this to make my weekend mornings more delicious 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 11, 2017 at 8:34 am

      Hi Leslie! I have never tried store bought jelly, but I am in love with this one 😉 . Hope you try it, it does make the mornings more delicious.

  • Avatar
    Reply Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health November 10, 2017 at 10:28 am

    this sounds like a very therapeutic activity for the weekend

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 11, 2017 at 8:35 am

      It is, and it becomes better when you get to taste the fruit of your labour 😉 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Amanda Mason November 11, 2017 at 8:18 am

    First off…Pearl Jam…YES! Drop the mic..enough said. LOL…I’ll continue though. Second – those grapes! How gorgeous!
    What a fabulous post! I love the recipe and the post is so well done! Kuddos to such beautiful pics and a great blog post and recipe!! I really enjoyed reading this one!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 11, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Thank you so much Amanda! I am a Pearl jam fan ;-). And this jelly has me become a fan of it, as well. So good!

  • Avatar
    Reply Stacey November 13, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Well this is my weak spot, I love jams and jellies and anything grape! I haven’t made jelly in such a long time, but I’m going to have to try this now! Thank you for the inspiration!!!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 16, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      We’ve been enjoying it in the morning, and we’ve also had it with cheese. Any time, delicious! Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Julie November 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    What an amazing grape haul from your inlaws! How fun to make jelly from something grown by your very own family.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 16, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      Thank you, Julie! Yes, every year the haul seems to grow bigger and better 😉.

  • Avatar
    Reply Shadi Hasanzadenemati November 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Jams and jellies are my fave! I want to try this asap!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 16, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      Jam and jellies are part of my morning breakfast almost every day 😉. Thank you for your comment!

  • Avatar
    Reply Loralee October 4, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    So do you make the juice first and then use the juice for the jelly (dilute the grape juice with water?). Thank you!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 5, 2018 at 6:00 am

      Hello! Yes, you need to first make the juice, as in the recipe, then, you add lemon juice and sugar to the juice and let it boil hard for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently and skimming the foam until it becomes the jelly. Hope it helps!

      • Avatar
        Reply Michelle M Rose October 7, 2019 at 7:05 am

        What is Berry sugar? can you use regular granulated sugar?

        • Nicoletta
          Reply Nicoletta October 7, 2019 at 7:11 am

          Here they call berry sugar the finest granulated sugar, but regular granulated sugar works fine.

  • Avatar
    Reply Olga March 6, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Thank you very much! I like this grape jelly! Wonderful combination of ingredients. It look so yummy!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta March 7, 2019 at 12:11 am

      Thank you! Cannot wait to make more. We absolutely love this jelly!

  • Avatar
    Reply Alina March 8, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Nicoletta, it looks so yummy! I love the step-by-step instructions, making it an easy recipe to follow!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta March 8, 2019 at 11:29 pm

      Thank you! It is a wonderful jelly! We enjoy it on toast and also with cheese 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Alyssa March 11, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Nicoletta, what a gorgeous jelly! Your directions make this seem like such an easy approach, too. I would love to make this soon!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta March 12, 2019 at 12:02 am

      Thanks! It is not that hard to make and the jelly is amazing! Hope you try!

  • Avatar
    Reply Shelly August 20, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    When I bought my house it came with fruit trees and grape vines. When inspecting the grapes a section smelled like Concords. The vines need some tending and the bunches were no where as lovely as yours. I sniped two large bowls full, followed your recipe and crossed my fingeres. What I ended up with was the most beautiful dark purple, tasty jelly. Thank you!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta August 21, 2019 at 9:18 am

      So beautiful to have the house with fruit trees and grape vines! We sold that house so no more gorgeous Concord grapes for us. I am so happy you like the jelly. It has an amazing color and it is delicious. Try it also with cheese. Thank you so much for your feedback!

  • Avatar
    Reply Dave Newton October 22, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Just made this resilient out wild grapes that grows on the fences along the road side tuned out perfect

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 22, 2019 at 4:20 pm

      Yes! So happy to hear that! We love this jelly. Too bad this year we didn’t have any grapes. Thank you for your feedback!

  • Avatar
    Reply Ann Coffey August 27, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Thank you for the (commercial) pectin-free recipe, Nicoletta. I haven’t tried it yet but judging from other recipes I’ve used I KNOW it’s going to turn out well! I am not crazy about grape jelly but I have a very prolific wild (not concord) grape vine in my garden and if I don’t pick the grapes the raccoons wreck the vine while scrumping the fruit. I generally make 30 to 40 pounds of grape jelly a year and give most of it away. Last year I decided to try something different and used about one cup of red wine to every three or four cups of the water + juice called for in the recipe. I found it so tasty that I didn’t give quite so much of it away! I’m going to do it again with your recipe.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta August 27, 2020 at 3:51 pm

      Wow, that’s a lot of grape jelly you make! People must love you when you give them the ‘purple jewel’. We miss our Concord grapes so much! My husband’s parents house is now sold, we passed by the other day and everything is unkept including the beautiful vine. What a shame! Hope you’ll love the jelly if you make it!

      • Avatar
        Reply Ann Coffey August 27, 2020 at 4:26 pm

        I am half way through making it now!

        You should try knocking on the door of your husband’s parents’ house and ask if you could pick them If they’ve not moved in yet, just go and scrump them. I’m sure that the last thing on the new owner’s house at the moment is picking grapes and making jelly and if you don’t pick them they’ll go to waste! Now, if you lived in Ottawa I’d invite you over to pick the rest of my grapes… 🙂

        • Nicoletta
          Reply Nicoletta August 28, 2020 at 7:30 am

          That’s such a great idea. Unfortunately they moved there already. Thank you for the invite, will take you up on that offer whenever we’re in Ottawa 😉 .

          • Avatar
            Ann Coffey August 28, 2020 at 1:29 pm

            I’d just go and ask them then. They can only say no and I bet they’d be more likely to say yes!

  • Avatar
    Reply Ann August 29, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Great recipe! Definitely one to be saved and used again.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta September 5, 2020 at 9:47 am

      Thank you so much! Try it with cheese, it’s incredibly delicious!

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