This post was supposed to be one about grape jelly. Turned out that after spending time buying, cooking, straining, and cleaning (cooked grapes…they stain, people), my grape “jelly” looked like this:
But let me back up. Have you ever had Concord grapes?! They have always intrigued me – kind of like champagne grapes…what are those?! – so I finally bought them. They are the grapiest tasting grape I have ever tasted. Yes, people, that sentence made sense, read it again. These grapes are the grapes of your childhood – grape flavored children’s liquid Dimetapp? Grape flavored lollipops? And hello, PB&J?!
After that one taste of this grapey grape, I knew I had to make homemade grape jelly. Oh my goodness, and then make homemade peanut butter. On homemade bread! And then have the most satisfying (and labor intensive) peanut butter and jelly sandwich ever! But first, the grape jelly. I had just started the process when I realize that the recipe called for four cups of sugar! I went with one cup – I felt like that was enough. I know that sugar helps to thicken, I do. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I threw in some lemon juice and a bay leaf for good measure and ended up with the most delectable jelly sauce ever. One that never thickened.
There was nothing else I could do but to swirl it into some homemade buttermilk ice cream. Tangy and creamy and sweet with this grape flavored deliciousness swirled throughout. I’m happy with this outcome. I hope none of my jellies ever gel again. (No, I don’t mean that).
Grape Jelly (Sauce) (adapted from Epicurious)
- 3 lb Concord grapes, stemmed
- 1 cup sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 bay leaf
Take grapes off of stems and rinse. Bring to a boil with 1 cup of water. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes until skins start to slide off and the seeds rise to the top. The grapes should be falling apart. Strain the grapes, pressing to release all of the juices. Discard the skin and seeds.
Place the juice back into the pot, and add sugar, lemon juice and bay leaf. Bring to a slow boil for about 30 minutes.
I should note that I did nothing to properly can this sauce, so don’t leave it at room temperature! To sterilize and can, follow the directions in the link above.
Buttermilk Ice Cream (adapted from Serious Eats)
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Combine everything in a bowl and refrigerate overnight. Churn ice cream the next day using your ice cream maker’s instructions. When finished churning, place the ice cream into a container. Pour about 1.5 cups of the grape sauce on top. Using a butter knife, swirl the grape sauce into the ice cream, making sure that it’s not completely mixed in. Put in freezer. Serve with additional sauce.
No ice cream maker? That’s fine! There are other methods!