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You haven’t lived until you’ve made your own grape jelly

Every fall, bunches of local grapes show up at the farmers market. They’ve got killer flavor, but they’re loaded with seeds. What do you do with them? Make jam and jelly, that’s what. Nothing against your ordinary jar of store-bought grape jelly, but homemade grape jelly is so next-level delicious there’s no comparison. Story’s Fowl Farm’s recipe is for mustang grapes, but go ahead and try it with just about any other kind of grape, from Concord to Niagara.

Making jelly from the mustang grape, which grows in the South from Mississippi to Texas, is an up-and-coming trend with a long history. The grapes themselves are difficult to eat raw, but when turned into grape jelly or juice or wine (as they’ve been doing since the Civil War), they add a hint of unexpected tartness. The jelly doesn’t have the same cloying quality of the stuff you buy at the store, instead tasting more like a cross between store-bought grape and red plum jellies.

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Early this August, Lorri Story and her kiddos donned their boots and gloves and headed out to pick from the wild vine growing on the fence line of Story’s Fowl Farm in Aledo, Texas, so they could make this delectable jam, and Story was kind enough to share the recipe with SheKnows.

grape jelly
Image: Lew Robertson/Getty Images/design by Liz Smith/SheKnows

Story’s Fowl Farm’s mustang grape jelly recipe

The acidity of the mustang grape can actually cause your hands to itch when the grape is in its raw state, so make sure you wear gloves when handling them.

Yields about 2-1/2 quarts (5 pints)

Prep time: 30 – 45 minutes | Cook time: 30 – 45 minutes | Total time: 1 – 1-1/2 hours


  • 5 gallons mustang grapes
  • Water
  • 1 (1-3/4 ounce) box fruit pectin (Story recommends Sure-Jell brand)
  • 7 cups sugar
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  1. Wash and de-stem the grapes. Mustang grapes do have seeds, but there’s no need to remove them up front. They’ll be strained out later.
  2. Place the grapes into a stockpot, and add just enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil, and allow it to boil for 5 – 10 minutes.
  3. Place a large sieve without a liner over a large bowl, and pour in the grape and water mixture a little at a time, being careful to not overfill the sieve. Use a pestle to press the juice through, and discard the flesh and seeds it leaves behind. Repeat until the entire batch has been processed.
  4. Measure out 5 cups of the resulting juice, pour it back into the stockpot, and bring it to a rolling boil. Stir in the pectin, and bring it back to a boil. Then stir in the sugar, and bring it back to a rolling boil again. Allow it to continue boiling for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove it from the heat.
  5. Ladle the hot jelly into sterilized jelly jars (don’t go past the fill line). Place the domes and rings on the jars, and tighten them. Put the jars into a hot water canning bath for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the canning bath, place them upside down on a towel, and allow them to sit for 5 minutes before righting them and allowing them to cool completely.
mustang grape jelly
Image: Heather Barnett/SheKnows

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