Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Muscadine Wine Jelly

The holidays are really creeping up on me this year, and I feel like I have so much to do and so little time.  I plan on making holiday goodies including painted cookies, gingerbread cupcakes, and cinnamon candy, but I am not going to be around to blog about any of it next week due to holiday travel plans.  Sorry.  Instead, I thought I would post several holiday gifts that are easy to make, inexpensive to give, and delicious to receive.  The very best part about these gifts is that you make them yourself which shows the recipient that you really care enough to put your time and energy into a gift.

So, without further ado, here is a wonderful jelly made from muscadine wine.  Those of you from other parts of the country (I am from NC) may not be very familiar with the muscadine grape.  Muscadines are native to America and are grown widely across the southern US in backyards as well as vineyards.  The grapes are sweeter than other grapes used for wine and produce a sweeter juice.  They are also delicious eaten fresh or made into grape jelly which is how most people tend to use them.  They can, however, be fermented into a wine that is sweet and intensely fruity.  You can purchase wine made from muscadine grapes, but I use homemade wine fermented by a friend of my uncle.  The wine is usually ready in late November and a gallon goes a long way toward making jelly and muscadine wine pound cake (I will post the recipe later).  Of course, you can also drink it. 

Before I get into making the jelly, let me tell you that the first time I ever got this wine, it was given to me by my uncle as a Christmas gift. It came with a warning.  He said that I had to open it every few hours because it was still fermenting and would explode if I didn't.  He knew this from experience as he had accidentally left a gallon in the back of his truck.  The pressure in the jug kept building until the lid could not hold, and it burst open making a bit of a mess.  Needless to say, I was very careful to open the jug regularly. 

Now, for the jelly.  This wine produces a jelly that is sweet, grapey, and very pretty.  It is not red, but more of a pinkish purple color which is gorgeous spread on fresh bread.  It would also go very nicely with a sampling of various cheeses.  If you can't get your hands on muscadine wine, I am sure you could use a red wine of your choice.  The flavor may be slightly different.  This recipe does contain a lot of sugar.  My uncle is going to try it with the no sugar added pectin and once he does, I will let you know the results. 

This jelly makes a wonderful gift for anyone who enjoys unique food items or wine, and it only takes a short time to make a batch. 

Muscadine Wine Jelly
makes approximately six half-pint jars

3 1/2 cups muscadine wine (or other red wine)
1/2 cup bottled lemon juice
1 package dry pectin (such as Sure-Jell)
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Mix the wine and lemon juice in a large nonreactive pot.  Slowly add the pectin whisking constantly to avoid lumps.  Bring the mixture to a rapid boil, whisking constantly. 

Once boiling rapidly, slowly whisk in the sugar and continue whisking until it is dissolved.  Bring the mixture back to a rolling boil while whisking.  Once boiling again, allow it to boil for 1 minute as you stir. 

Turn the burner off and ladle the jelly into prepared half-pint jelly jars.  Leave 1/4 inch headspace at the top of each jar.  Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp cloth to remove any drips.  Top each jar with a hot sterilized lid and ring.  Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.  Allow jars to sit in canner with heat off for five minutes after processing time is complete.  Remove jars to a towel to cool for 24 hours.  Check seals, label, and store. 

Even though it may be tempting to make a double batch, it is best to make it one batch at a time.  Trying to make a double batch at one time may result in a looser set jelly. 


  1. This looks like a lot of fun. I will have to try this now that I live in NC and muscadine wine is really easy to find. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. would this work with a white wine?

  3. Yes, it would work with white wine. Depending on which wine you use, it will taste differently though. Muscadine wine is a much sweeter wine, so it produces a sweeter jelly, but drier wines will also work with this.

  4. I had two bottles of Muscadine wine and though I would give this recipe a try, sure glad I did because it made a wonderful tasting jelly.

  5. Tom, I'm so glad you liked it. I think Muscadine wine jelly is great and very versatile. Enjoy!

  6. If I were yo use a dessert wine like a blackberry wine would I need to adjust thr sugar at all?

  7. Maegan, the muscadine wine is a sweeter wine (not dry), so I would not adjust the amount of sugar if I used blackberry wine. I think you will be just fine with the same amount of sugar. Blackberry wine jelly sounds wonderful!

  8. I want to make Raspberry - Muscadine Wine Jam instead of jelly. Your recipe is the closest I've found. However, I'm not too sure about the ratio of ingredients. The wine is quite sweet. The berries are somewhat tart, and then there's the lemon juice in your recipe. to consider and the dry or liquid pectin. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Joanne