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Homemade Basil Grape Jelly

Updated on October 28, 2015

Grape Jelly with a Twist

If you love grape jelly, or if you could 'take it or leave it,' give this recipe a try. Not your average ho-hum partner to peanut butter, this jelly has a depth of flavor provided by a few key secret ingredients, revealed here. Tart and sweet, your favorite purple grape juice provides a base for the recipe...no need to grow, peel, crush or blanch any fruit. Choose a high-quality juice. The higher the juice quality, the better the jelly flavor! I prefer an organic juice with no added sugar, but any grape juice will do!

Simple, delicious, and fool-proof, this jelly is wonderful for a lazy weekend morning, and it makes a unique gift that's fun both to make and to give!

Photo credit: The Micro Farm Project

Sterilize containers just prior to making your jelly.
Sterilize containers just prior to making your jelly.

Ingredients and Container Preparation

This recipe makes about 4 half-pint jars, or twice as many 4-oz jelly jars. You could also pour this jelly into pretty, clear glasses, sealed with household wax.

Whatever containers you decide to use, be sure to sterilize them in advance in boiling water or in the dishwasher on anti-bacterial setting. Sterilize the jars, as well as the lids and rings. If you boil them on the stove, leave the empty jars in the hot water until you are ready to fill them so that the jars will remain hot. If you sterilize them in the dishwasher, use the "heated dry" setting so that the jars will stay hot. While the jars are being sterilized, prepare your jelly.

Ingredients:

1/2 C. boiling water

1 tbs dried basil (or Thai basil)

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

pinch of salt

3 1/2 C. pure cane sugar (I prefer raw sugar)

3 1/2 C. purple grape juice

3 oz liquid fruit pectin

Optional: paraffin wax

Canning Jars

Glass canning jars are a great investment. Though the lids should only be used once, the jars and metal rings can be used over and over again. Save money and stock up on Amazon, where the price for the jars is a little bit less expensive than they are in local stores. Qualified orders of $25 or more receive free Super Saver shipping.

Strain the herb brew into a saucepan.
Strain the herb brew into a saucepan.

Steep Herbs and Spices

The flavor of basil and cardamom is delicious, but they cannot be added directly to grape jelly or the gritty, chewy pieces ruin the smooth texture. Basil and cardamom flavor can be added to your recipe indirectly by steeping them to draw out and capture their essence in a liquid form, while the solid stems, leaves and pieces can be discarded.

Pour boiling water over basil and cardamom in a saucepan and set aside for 10-15 minutes. Strain the herb brew into a 4-quart saucepan through a fine strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel. Discard the herbs. Reserve the fragrant liquid in the saucepan for use in your recipe.

Skim off pectin foam from the top of the liquid.
Skim off pectin foam from the top of the liquid.

Making the Jelly

Add grape juice and sugar to the herb water in the sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then increase the heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil.

Stir in the liquid pectin and return the mixture to boiling. Boil rapidly for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and skim off the foam that will collect on top.

Note that foam can be reduced by adding 1/2 TBSP of butter to the saucepan prior to pouring in the pectin. Butter is completely optional, and does not change the flavor or texture oof the jelly.

Use a wide-mouth funnel to aid filling the jars.
Use a wide-mouth funnel to aid filling the jars.

Fill the Jars

Pour the jelly into hot, sterilized containers. Use a wide-mouth funnel to prevent sticky drips from running down the exterior of the jars. Seal with lids or paraffin.

To seal with paraffin wax, allow the jelly to cool for several hours. Then melt the wax slowly over low heat. Paraffin is flammable, so keep your eyes on it at all times. When the wax is completely melted, pour 1/4 inch of the liquid wax directly on top of the jelly in each container.

Note: If jelly does not set, pour it back into the sauce pan and bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute before returning it to the jars.

Store jelly in the refrigerator and use within 3 months.

I would love to hear from you. Leave your important comments and questions below.

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    • biminibahamas profile image

      biminibahamas 5 years ago

      Sounds delicious!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      What a lovely idea! I love homemade jelly and I have never considered using grape juice. What a great idea!

    • profile image

      trendydad 5 years ago

      nice lens on homemade jelly

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Sounds pretty tasty to me - I always love the nice herb flavor basil brings to the party.

    • NTxWriter profile image

      NTxWriter 5 years ago

      this looks delicious! I'm always looking for more ways to use the ample supply of basil I get here in north Texas.

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Looks great! Are you in the Phoenix Valley? Squid Angel blessed.

    • microfarmproject profile image
      Author

      microfarmproject 5 years ago

      @tvyps: Yes, I am. I have a small "farm," right in the middle of the city. You?

    • microfarmproject profile image
      Author

      microfarmproject 5 years ago

      @Sylvestermouse: Thanks! We grow grapes, but they always get eaten before I have a chance to make jelly. This way is easier, too :)

    • youthministry profile image

      Paul Turner 5 years ago from Birmingham, Al.

      Mmmm, Jelly. Where's the peanut butter? :)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Sounds fantastic! Pinned to my cooking and food board.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      @NTxWriter: Send some of that basil my way for pesto!

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Sounds interesting. We tried making grape jelly from homegrown grapes, but it didn't come out too well. This certainly sounds good.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 5 years ago from Australia

      This looks really yummy. Might have to try it!

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 5 years ago

      This sounds so good! Thanks for the recipe :)

    • EEWorkouts profile image

      EEWorkouts 5 years ago

      My mom's apple cinnamon is like pie filling and sought after. Never tried jelly with basil, sounds interesting.

    • checkyourvibe profile image

      Cathy Slaght 5 years ago from St. Petersburg, Fl

      used to be one of my dreams- to have a small farm- good for you!

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 5 years ago

      I would love to try this.

    • mdfroze profile image

      mdfroze 5 years ago

      wow,

      grep jelly, i am gonna try this......

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 5 years ago from Somewhere in England

      I've never had grape jelly but it sounds good the way you describe it.

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      This was the first jelly I ever made

    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      This sounds super tasty! Great lens!

    • WhyCleanCounts profile image

      WhyCleanCounts 5 years ago

      Would love to try this. I am absolutely fascinated with the idea of urban agriculture.

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      Looks like it would be worth a try!

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