Small Batch Scuppernong Grape Jelly is homemade jelly made easy! Although iconically Southern, the thick skins of scuppernong and muscadine grapes will remind you of concord grapes with their own distinct floral flavor. Scuppernongs are basically golden muscadines so either can be used in this jelly recipe.
The jelly in the picture above is Scuppernong Jelly with a muscadine grape next to it. I used all my Scuppernongs in the jelly and had none left to photograph! The fuchsia-colored jelly in the picture below is made with muscadines.
Simple toast and jam/jelly is one of my all-time favorite snacks or quick breakfasts. To make your own butter try my Homemade Butter in a Jar recipe. I'm talkin' thick, crusty bread slathered with homemade jam, jelly, preserves, or apple butters!
I bought this huge loaf of Pane Turano Italian bread at Aldi recently for about $3.00! I could eat the entire loaf by myself just as 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 variety of muscadine grapes native to the basin of the Scuppernong River in North Carolina. I describe the distinct flavor of the Scuppernongs and muscadines as slightly floral.
Scuppernong grapes are basically golden muscadines with a slightly different flavor and lighter in color. They can be used interchangeably. 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.
Both Scuppernongs and muscadine grapes are in season late July through first of September, so you know what that means? They are plentiful and on sale somewhere near you, so, buy now!
Where can I find these thick-skinned grapes?
Here in Gardendale, Alabama, Publix often has them in August for $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.
Here in the Southeast, you can find wild muscadines and golden muscadines in the wooded areas and along rural roads on fences.
What is the shortcut?
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.
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 size jars.
A pressure cooker is not required in my small batch recipes because I use the water bath canning method of sealing jars or store them in the fridge or freezer to make it even easier.
Do I need a pressure cooker to make Small Batch Scuppernong Grape 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 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 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 slabs seen here
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.
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
- 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.