Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Homemade Concord Grape Juice and the sidekick Tangy Grape Popsicles!


I have a “jam-swap” with Mary, the hubby’s former teachers who lives two block away from us yesterday.    Well, it was not exactly a “jam-swap.”   I gave the hubby one little jar of my Concord jam to give to Mary and she had given the hubby back two kind of jam she made another day – Plum jam and watermelon rind jam – and both were really good.      Wasn’t that awesome! 

I picked some grapes this morning, too, with a plan of making grape juice. I have never had homemade grape juice before and I knew that it would be a lot of work, especially with grapes that have lots of seeds. But that issue wouldn’t stop me because I wanted to know what the homemade grape juice tastes like.

I’ve collected six pounds of grapes to make juice. At first, I was thinking of squeezing the grape to separate skins and pulps just like when I was making the grape jam, but I was just too lazy to do that. So, I used the potato smasher to do the dirty work since I only needed the juice and not the skin and pulp like when making a jam.

Using potato smasher on the grapes was so easy and quick. The whole process was actually quick as the grape didn’t need to cook that long, but there’s a trick. When I was trying to strain the juice to separate from the skins and pulps, I had to use a regular colander first to get as much juice as possible and I didn’t have patient to wait for it to seep out.  


The juice came out looking murky!   So, I strained it again with a very fine sieve.   However, the juice was seeping out drop by drop!    Like I said, I didn’t have patient for that (and thinking “why I’m being so grumpy today!).       So, I pushed and stirred using a rubber spatula to help get the juice out as much and as fast as I could.      Yeah!   The juice came out quicker (with some pulp) and left some very fine pulp on the strainer, which I had save about one cup of it.     There’s no way I would toss it.  It was all the good stuff!    And the light bulb just lid up in my head thinking “popsicles!”      Why waste it, right?         

I had added more water and some sugar to the leftover pulp to make popsicles.   And let me tell you, the popsicles tasted so lovely with the tangy sweet flavor of grape.  Or I should say that this is one of the perfect popsicles for summer!      
Since my Concord grapes were so juicy, I didn’t need to add water or sugar into it.   The grape juice was very concentrative and intense in flavor that you might need to dilute it with some other liquid to soft it up a little if you want to make another drinks or cocktails.      And the color was also looking nicer and prettier with the dark purplish red of magenta     Oh my!   I just fell in love with the color of grape juice.    Purrrtyyyy!       


So, there I have 2 recipes in 1 post – the Concord Grape Juice and the Tangy Grape Popsicles, the sidekick!      Just loving it!    ^___^

What you need:   made 6 cups of juice

 6 lbs. Concord grapes
Big pot
A potato masher
A Colander and a fine sieve
Medium bowl, pot, or jug


Leftover pulp...for popsicles

How to:

- De-stem the grapes and wash
- Put the grape in a large pot and smash them gently with the potato masher to separate the skins and pulps

- Set the pot over medium heat. When it comes to bubbles, turn the heat to low and let it simmering for another 15 minutes so the skins and pulps get soft and break up, stir occasionally
- after 15 minutes, take off the heat and put it through the colander little by little, discard the skin and seeds.
- Strain it again through the fine sieve little by little, then you will have very fine pulp leftover from the juice. Safe the pulp to make popsicles if desired.
- Chill the grape juice in the fridge and serve however you wish.

The Tangy Grape Popsicles    makes 8-2 oz. popsicles
1 cup leftover fine grape pulp (from the juice above)
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice

- combine everything into a small sauce pan and set it over low heat just until the sugar has dissolved
- let the mixture cool down, then pour into popsicles mold and freeze them overnight before serving



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