Before we get down to the nitty gritty about why this Ginger Grape Jam is so amazing, I need to tell you a little story…
I worked in the Oregon wine industry for a number of years. I spent a few years at a very, ostentatious notorious ahem, splendid winery as the hospitality manager dealing with all aspects of guest relations and event planning. One day in our stupidly unnecessarily fantastic kitchen/lunch room the conversation steered toward table grapes. Those crunchy slightly sweet clusters of goodness… “Table grapes are so boring” “Table grapes lack substance” “How could anybody enjoy them?” “They are so simple”
Oh, owww. Simple. In the world of deeply complex, brooding Pinot Noir, no greater insult can be flung, than simple.
And as the “popular kids” hurled these comments, I sat quietly eating my sandwich and not defending the humble table grape. Lily livered panty waist am I.
But that was years ago and I have grown a backbone since. So I am here today to defend the table grape with Ginger Grape Jam.
The table grape is NOT the slack jawed, backwoods cousin of the wine grape. It is clever, and light hearted and it doesn’t take itself too seriously – refreshing in so very many ways.
A very dear friend of mine is a berry research scientist with one of the state universities, and recently blessed me with three flats of organic table grapes. These were a newer variety developed in Arkansas called Joy. Deep purple skins and an elongated ovoid shape, this table grape was totally new to me. I expected the heady cloying “Welches” flavor when I bit into the first and was surprised to find it subtly sweet and fruity with a wonderful texture and acid balance. As perfectly delightful as I found them, I could never eat them all before they turned so I settled on making A LOT of jam. Enter ginger. I am not so secretly in love with ginger and these grapes seemed ripe for a partner that would elevate them to something elegant and intriguing. With the addition of lemon juice, a tid bit of sugar and Pomona’s Pectin (this natural citrus pectin allows you sweeten to your own taste) the jam was made.
The result: indescribably good jam! I want to put this on everything. No toast goes unslathered. I might even drop a few spoonfuls onto some oozing brie soon too… This jam is just kinda that good…
- 5 lbs purple seedless table grapes
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 4 teaspoons calcium water (included, prepared per Pomona’s Pectin instructions)
- 4 teaspoons Pomona Pectin
- Puree whole grapes until completely blended. Measure out 12 liquid cups (adjust with grape juice if necessary) and pour into heavy bottomed stock pot.
- In a separate bowl, combine sugar and pectin thoroughly. Set aside.
- Add lemon juice, ginger and calcium water to grape puree and bring to low boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
- Once the mixture boils, slowly add in sugar/pectin mixture. Continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring to ensure that all sugar/pectin is thoroughly dissolved. The hot jam should coat the back of a spoon and will thicken upon cooling.
- Ladle into sterilized half pints jars, leaving a 1/4″ head space. Wipe rims of jars and screw on prepared lids and rings finger tight. Process in water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- After processing, remove from canner and allow to cool, undisturbed for 12 hours. Check for seal and loosen or remove ring for storage.