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RECIPE: Concord Grape Conserve

Concord Grape Conserve goes well with cheese scones or ice cream. | Jean Lachat~Sun-Times

Concord Grape Conserve goes well with cheese, scones or ice cream. | Jean Lachat~Sun-Times

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Updated: May 9, 2012 9:49AM

Concord grapes are only in season for a brief moment, so make this conserve whenever you see them in the market, then make the appetizer for any party you plan for the fall.


8 cups (about 4 pounds) Concord grapes

6 cups sugar

6 (2-inch) strips orange zest

2 cups walnut halves

Place grapes, sugar, orange strips and ½ cup water in a heavy pot over medium heat. Mash grapes with potato masher as they begin to heat up. Stir frequently to dissolve sugar and be sure mixture does not burn. Cook about 20 minutes, until grapes are juicy and tender. Remove from heat to cool for 10 minutes.

Carefully remove orange strips and mince finely; set aside. Press grape mixture through food mill or cheesecloth-lined sieve to remove skins and seeds. You should have a thick juice. Return juice to pot and boil gently for 15 minutes over medium heat until mixture thickens to jelly consistency. Watch carefully so it does not foam up and spill over sides or burn.

Meanwhile, crush walnuts with rolling pin into chunks, not crumbs. Divide nuts and reserved orange zest among jars, then ladle grape mixture into jars. Process according to proper canning directions for storage up to 1 year, or store tightly lidded in refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

Adapted from Well Preserved by Eugenia Bone

Nutrition facts per tablespoon: 39 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 8 g carbohydrates, 8 g sugars, 0 g protein, 0 mg sodium, 0 g fiber

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