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The end of summer brings the harvest of grapes on The Farm. Severe drought conditions have been a constant on The Farm for the better part of this summer but somehow the grapes made it through and have turned out surprisingly well. I haven’t gotten into the wine-making craze yet but still find many uses for all the grapes, especially my family’s favorites: grape juice and grape butter. You may remember the apricot butter I made in July – a wonderfully thick and delicious fruit spread with just two simple ingredients: equal parts sugar to fruit. This is the same recipe with grapes and has become my only way to make a preserve with grapes. Once you try this you will never want any other grape preserve. That’s a promise!
I also made a video of this grape butter, so make sure to check it out!
- 6 cups homegrown grapes
- 6 cups granulated sugar
- To prepare the grapes, pick them off the stems, making sure to discard any rotten or shriveled ones. Wash the grapes well. (As a rule, my Grandma always said to wash three times.)
- Start by covering the grapes in a pan with water, letting the loose dirt come to the top. Pour off the dirty water, repeating for a total of three times.
- Place grapes and sugar in a heavy-bottomed or nonstick stockpot. Stir to incorporate the sugar and grapes and turn the stove on to medium heat to begin the cooking process.
- Bring to a rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down). Once at a rolling boil, turn the stove to medium-low or low heat to keep the butter boiling without boiling over. Time for 20 minutes. Since the last amount pushed through the strainer will be much thicker than the first, it’s important to stir the grape butter well to incorporate.
- Once cooked, press through a conical strainer (affiliate link), wiping down the sides of the strainer a few times. Push through the strainer until only some dry skins and seeds are left.
- Pour into washed and sterilized jelly jars. Clean off any butter that may have dripped onto the rim and sides of the jars.
- If desired, this recipe can be canned for long-term preservation (see my canning 101 video for tips). For this recipe, the paraffin method is used to seal the jars. Heat paraffin slowly on the stove and pour a ¼-inch layer over the grape butter, swirling slightly to make a good seal. Let dry.
- It’s important to note that store-bought grapes purchased for eating will not work for this butter. You’ll need to use a home-grown variety, which differs from those purchased at a store. Try looking at a local farmer’s market or roadside shop.
- I cover my entire countertop with newspaper when making grape butter. The butter is very sticky so this makes for quick and easy cleanup!