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How to make homemade grape jelly (from prepared juice)

(This recipe, which I published in 2008, is still making the rounds on Pinterest, but it didn’t have a printable recipe. Such things did not exist in 2008. So, here it is, updated with a printable.)

how to make easy grape jelly

This is kind of a cheater’s recipe for homemade grape jelly because it doesn’t involve squeezing the juice out of real grapes.

While that sort of method might produce some very tasty jelly, it’s not at all cost-efficient unless you grow your own grapes or have access to free ones somehow.

How cheap your jelly is depends on the price you pay for your ingredients. If you buy grape juice and sugar on sale and you have a coupon for pectin, it will be really, really cheap.

Plus, your homemade jelly will have no high fructose corn syrup in it (this is actually the reason I first looked into making my own).

homemade grape jelly

I got this recipe from The Hillbilly Housewife, (and it’s basically the same as the one on the insert from the pectin box) but I thought that some of you might be terrified of making your own jelly and would prefer a pictorial guide. 😉

It’s actually really, really easy. I promise.

Here’s what you’ll need:

    • 3 cups grape juice (either in a bottle or prepared from concentrate)
    • 1 package powdered pectin
    • 4 cups sugar
    • glass jars that will hold 1.5 quarts of jelly

(they don’t need to be canning jars…glass jars that used to hold fruit or applesauce, or jelly will work fine)

Combine grape juice and pectin in a saucepan (I stir it with a whisk to get rid of the lumps) and bring to a boil.

As an aside, do NOT add the sugar before you bring the pectin to a boil.

I’ve done this waaaay too many times, and it causes the jelly to not, well, gel.

After the pectin/juice mixture has come to a boil, stir in the sugar. Bring it back up to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, and boil for a full minute.

Remove from the heat. During cooking, some foam may have appeared on the top of your jelly. I like to spoon this off.

It’s harmless, but it’ll make the top of your jelly look cloudy if you leave it there.

Ladle the jelly into your clean jars, screw on the lids, and let the jelly cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.

If you want the jelly to be shelf-stable, you can process the jars in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. I don’t mess with that usually…I store mine in the fridge, and they keep just fine.

The color of your jelly could vary depending on the grape juice you use.

In my experience, the bottled grape juice makes a more purple jelly than reconstituted grape juice does. The jars above are made from bottled juice, and the jars below are from a concentrate.

They’ll both taste good, though, so use whatever sort of grape juice you like.

Sometimes, my jelly gels right away, but sometimes it takes a while(like 6-8 hours).

So, don’t become distressed if at first it seems that all you have produced is some very sweet grape juice. Be patient, and as long as you’ve followed the recipe properly, your grape juice will have turned into jelly.

homemade grape jelly

Homemade Grape Jelly

Yield: 3 pints
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This jelly is super easy because it's made from store-bought juice! And it doesn't even need to be canned. It makes a nice addition to a gift of homemade bread.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups grape juice (either in a bottle or prepared from concentrate)
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 4 cups sugar
  • glass jars that will hold 3 pints of jelly

Instructions

    Combine grape juice and pectin in a saucepan (I stir it with a whisk to get rid of the lumps) and bring to a boil.

    Do NOT add the sugar before you bring the pectin to a boil. I've done this waaaay too many times, and it causes the jelly to not gel.

    After the pectin/juice mixture has come to a boil, stir in the sugar. Bring it back up to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, and boil for a full minute.

    Remove from the heat. Spoon off any foam that has appeared.

    Ladle the jelly into your clean jars, screw on the lids, and let the jelly cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.

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Linda

Saturday 25th of May 2024

I just came across this recipe and made it using bottled 100% Grape juice (given to me by a friend) and regular sugar cause that's all I had. Thank you so much for posting because Welch's Grape juice is over $4.00 a bottle and contains corn syrup and HFCS.

Abbie

Saturday 2nd of March 2024

Hi! I did this and my jelly is very runny. I did the sugar after the pectin boiled but it still didn't really gel up. Can I heat it back up and add more pectin or do I have to start all over?

Kristen

Friday 8th of March 2024

Boy, I am not experienced enough to know! I'd google to find tips for how to fix failed jelly.

John VanOrder

Thursday 25th of January 2024

What would be a good natural sugar substitute? I was wondering about like Monkfruit? Stevia? Any ideas?

Kristen

Thursday 25th of January 2024

I have NO experience using sugar substitutes in jam, but I am guessing that these would not work properly because they would not interact with the pectin like regular sugar does. Maybe try looking for a blogger who specifically blogs about jams/preserves with sugar substitutes!

Alicia

Friday 27th of October 2023

The price of boxed pectin has gone up. Was wondering if you have tried buying pectin in bulk.

Kristen

Saturday 28th of October 2023

I have not, but if you found a cheap source, I'd give that a try! The boxed pectin is pretty expensive.

Kristen

Saturday 7th of October 2023

Boy, I'm not sure! I've always made such small batches that I've just kept it in the fridge after it sets up, rather than actually canning it.

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