Isabella Grape Jam: Heard it through the grapevine …
I still remember the fragrance the Isabella grapes released after rain in my grandmother’s backyard. We used to play hide-and-seek there under the grand grapevine roof, all around the chairs, running among the Isabella vines and peonies. Is there any such a place left ? Anywhere ?
Since I had not experienced that wonderful scent for ages, I started looking for young seedlings to plant on my balcony. Friends took this as a sign I was loosing it , but I kept looking around hoping to find one, sooner or later !
My plan was to let it grow around my balcony fence so that I could pick the fruits in a few years’ time to have for jams and compotes.
There is definitely a Guardian Angel taking care of me: my son came home the other day saying that one of his friend was offering me a bucket of the grapes since he knows how much I am into making jams. So, my Isabella grapes arrived out of the blue. I did not even know that these vine grew any more, and all of a sudden I had the opportunity to get a seedling and make my dream come true.
Now, it really takes a good hour to prepare several jars of this jam, but I am not complaining.
It is important to add a little tip: to separate the grape seeds from liquid easily, place a cheesecloth inside a sieve.
The fragrance was amazing. I rubbed lemons over my hands after the job was done while the jam was cooling, so there were no lasting stains on my skin and the grapes’ beautiful aroma was captured in full. The feeling: undescribable!
In Italy, there is a wine called Fragolino made from this grape variety. It goes well with panetone. So does the jam.
- 7,5 cups grapes (will give approx. 4 cups of pulp)
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice
- 4 cups of sugar
- 3 Tbsp pectin + 3 Tbsp sugar
- Clean and wash the grapes and separate the fruits from stem.
- Mix the grapes in a food processor to get creamy pulp.
- Place the sieve covered with cheesecloth over a pot or a bowl of matching size and press the pulp firmly to pass it through the sieve.
- Boil the fruit pulp and sugar in a pot over medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Add the sugar and pectin mixture and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Put the hot jam into clean dry glass jars and allow to cool.