Small Batch Scuppernong Grape Jelly is homemade jelly made easy! Make it a freezer jelly or process in an easy water bath. Scuppernongs are basically golden muscadine grapes so either can be used in this scuppernong jelly recipe.
Although iconically Southern, the thick skins of green or bronze scuppernong and muscadine grapes will remind you of concord grapes with their own distinct floral flavor.
The golden jelly in the picture above is Scuppernong Jelly with muscadine grapes next to it.
I used all my Scuppernong grapes when making this jelly and had none left to photograph! The fuchsia-colored jelly in the picture below is made with purple muscadine grapes.
Simple toast and jam/jelly with butter is one of my all-time favorite snacks or quick breakfasts. I'm talkin' thick, crusty bread slathered with homemade jam, jelly, or even my Easy Fig and Lemon Preserves!
To make your own butter try my Homemade Butter in a Jar recipe.
I bought this huge loaf of Pane Turano Italian bread at Aldi recently for about $3! I could eat the entire loaf by myself just with toast and jam. Seriously.
But I will save about half of it for Bread Pudding with Raisins. I love buying one ingredient and using it at least twice. Double duty ingredients!
What are Scuppernong grapes?
Scuppernong grapes are a green or bronze color variety of muscadine grapes. They are native to the basin of the Scuppernong River in North Carolina. They have a thick skin and are large grapes, a little smaller than ping pong balls. The distinct flavor of the Scuppernongs and muscadine grapes as slightly floral.
Scuppernong grapes are basically golden muscadines with only a slightly different flavor and lighter in color. They can be used interchangeably in recipes.
Their flavor seems slightly floral to me and I love it! Read more about the differences of Scuppernong and muscadine grapes in this article by ECKraus.
When is Scuppernong season?
Both Scuppernongs and muscadine grapes are in season late summer through first of October, so you know what that means? Sometimes we can find a wild Scuppernong vine or two in July before we can find them in the stores here in Alabama.
Where can I find Scuppernongs for sale?
Here in Alabama, our Publix and Aldi often has them in August for about $4.99 a (16-ounce) package and sometimes even BOGO. My local produce markets, Sid's Produce Market and Little Giant Farm Market in Summiton also carry them. Check your farmers markets.
I like to use @Sweet Grown Alabama's database list of local farmers to see if there are any local farmers near me I can support, first.
Here in the Southeast, you can often find wild bronze muscadines and Scuppernong grapes in the wooded areas and along rural roads on fences.
Small Batch Scuppernong Jelly can be a freezer jelly like my Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam or Peach Freezer Marmalade that doesn't require processing in a water bath.
Here are 3 other shortcuts:
- Liquid Certo allows you to skip the step of cooking the powdered pectin.
- It is a small batch recipe that requires less time for the cooked fruit to drip in the cheesecloth.
- Processing the jars in a water bath for 5 minutes is much faster and easier than pressure canning if you choose to make them shelf stable.
What is small batch canning?
Small batch canning is a term used to describe preserving jams, jellies, fruits and vegetables in quantities that do not require bushels of beans, crates of fruit or a pressure cooker. You can preserve a little bit of a lot of produce with this method.
My small batch recipes yield no more than 2 to 4 pints and I often use half-pint or smaller size jars.
A pressure canner is not required in my small batch recipes because I use the water bath canning method of sealing jars or store them in the refrigerator or freezer to make it even easier.
Do I need a pressure canner to make this jelly?
No. Make this easy Southern grape jelly as a freezer jelly or use the water bath method.
After letting the jelly stand at room temperature 24 hours, store the jelly in the fridge up to 2 months or in the freezer up to 1 year.
If you plan to store the Scuppernong jelly on a shelf, simply process the jars in a water bath for 5 minutes immediately after pouring the mixture into jars. For step by step directions on how to use the water bath canning method, check out this detailed article from Spruce Eats.
What if I don't get enough juice from my grapes?
If you don't get quite enough juice from your grapes after dripping in the bag, just add up to 1/4 cup white grape juice from the fridge if you have it. Even apple juice or a little bit of water will work in a pinch.
If you are lucky enough to raise Scuppernong grapes, then by all means run outside and pick a few more to make up the difference!
The story behind the pecan log coasters in picture above
The recipe is just below here if ya wanna skip this story.
The log slab in the pictures is from a pecan tree that grew in my parents yard in Arkansas. We planted it when we were small children and watched it grow as we grew up and produce pecans until just recently when my brother had to cut it down for my parents. My mom gave us all a few of the slabs to remember it. I have a candle on one of them in my kitchen and put a couple of them in my photo styling kit.
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Other shortcut jams and jellies
Small Batch Scuppernong Grape Jelly
- Stock pot, canning jar lifter, half-pint or pint jars
- 3 pounds Scuppernong or muscadine grapes about 6 cups grapes to yield 2 cups juice
- 1 cup water, plus 2 tablespoons
- 4 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 3 ounce pouch premium liquid fruit pectin I used Sure-Jell Certo
- Wash Scuppernong grapes with cold running water. Remove stems. Cut grapes in half. This is optional, but helps prevent the grapes from bursting hot juice when mashed in the pot as they start to soften.
- Add grapes and 1 cup water to an 8-quart enamel coated or stainless steel pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. As the grapes start to soften, mash with the back of a spoon or a potato masher. (Be careful! As you mash the grapes, they tend to burst open and splatter hot juice if left whole.)Reduce heat and let simmer 20 minutes, stirring often, or until the seeds and pulp has released from the skins. The skins will need to be very soft at this point.
- Line a large mesh strainer or colander with 3 layers of cheesecloth or use a jelly strainer bag on a stand (See my Amazon picks before the recipe). Place the strainer or jelly strainer bag over a wide rimmed bowl to catch the juice that drips.
- Carefully pour hot cooked grape mixture into the cheesecloth-lined strainer or jelly strainer bag on a stand. Let the mixture drip for at least 1 hour, occasionally stirring the mixture to help allow the liquid to drip out into the bowl to get 2 cups grape juice. Discard solids.
- Sterilize four half pint or 2 pint jars. Here are 3 Easy Ways to Sterilze Jars for Canning.
- In a large bowl, add the 2 cups strained grape juice. I like to heat the grape juice to warm-not hot to help dissolve the sugar.Measure 4 cups sugar (with dry measuring cups) into a bowl. All at once, add the sugar to the grape juice. Let stand (not on the heat) 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Combine liquid pectin and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Add to grape juice and sugar mixture; stir about 3 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Pour into prepared jars (or freezer containers if freezing), leaving 1/2-inch space at the top. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with lids and screw bands tightly.
- If planning to store on a shelf, process in a water bath for 5 minutes. For water bath, bring water to a boil in a deep stock pot. The pot must be deep enough to cover the jar tops. Place a canning rack in the bottom of the pot to lift the jars off the bottom. I use a small round cooling rack.Carefully place the jars in the boiling water and bring back to a rolling boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove the jars carefully with a canning jar lifter. Let cool on a towel or cooling rack on the counter 24 hours before storing.
- For freezer method, after filling jars or freezer containers with jelly, let stand on counter 24 hours. Then, jelly may be stored in the fridge for up to 2 months or in the freezer for up to 1 year.
- Liquid Certo allows you to skip the step of cooking the powdered pectin.
- It is a small batch recipe that requires less time for the cooked fruit to drip in the cheesecloth
- Processing the jars in a water bath for 5 minutes is much faster and easier than pressure canning.
Nutrition analysis on GritsAndGouda.com recipes are mostly calculated on an online nutrition calculator. I am not a dietitian and nutritional information is an estimate and can vary based on products used.
I want to say thank you for sharing the part about your memories in Arkansas. Tears fell as I ended the end. I to live in Arkansas, born and raised here. And I also have a grandpa with a prized pecan tree. Oh my goodness how we loved to climb that tree. We knew we better be out of it when papaw got back home. Needless to say we still would get caught and always got in trouble. So in closing.... thank you for bringing old memories back to me. ❤
Go Razorbacks! Thank you for reaching out! I believe food has the power to bring back memories quicker than even listening to a song associated with a memory. That pecan slab is special to me and I am glad it brought happy memories back to you, also....except the getting in trouble with PawPaw part!
We started our grapes many years ago just to see if we could grow them. We had so many this year and I didn't want them to go to waste, so I decided to try making jelly. Your recipe looked the best and I'm so glad I tried it. It is delicious!!! Thank you for sharing your recipe and story.
I'm honored you chose my Scuppernong Jelly recipe to make with your homegrown grapes. I saved the seeds from some Muscadines this year and plan to plant them. Hopefully I will have a bountiful harvest like you!
Thanks this brought back so many memorizes and made it so much simpler, because once I read and got started it came rushing back to me sure saved me alot of time thanks again for your help
I'm so glad the recipe can save you time! And just as important is that it brought back "sweet" memories for you.