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Monday, September 23, 2013

Jenny's Homefront Strategy: Peggy C's Grape Juice Recipe

Peggy C's Grape Juice Recipe

Homemade grape juice tastes great and costs about sixty cents a jar!

Have you priced out the cost of grape juice in your average store? Have you looked at the list of ingredients? Pricing out grape juice at my local grocery store this weekend, the price was $3:49 per 2 quart size and I'm sure if I checked the ingredient list it would start with something like, "High Fructose Corn Syrup".....we can do better... a lot better....

Growing up we had a family friend by the name of Peggy C. Peggy and my mother would go horseback riding and volunteered their horses and their time to do "Handicapped Horseback Riding" which pared up physically challenged children with horses and they would give the children a ride. The children, some of whose bodies were in a permanent state of hyper or hypo extention, would, most of the time, instantly relax when placed upon the animal. Peggy worked in the Flint schools as a therapist for kids.

Peggy shared with my family a recipe that I can every year. It's simple, having only three ingredients, and the taste you'll recognize as it tastes very near the popular brands you fnd in your local grocery stores. The difference? You recognize everything that goes into it and factoring the cost of the grapes and the sugar, the costs averages around $.60 per quart or a savings of  $2.29 over your grocery store brand (and that was the store brand, not a national brand!).

My yield was about 28 quarters for each 8 quarts of grapes I purchased. Unfortunately I didn't know what my yield would be and purchased 32 quarts of grapes. This ended up being a 12 hour canning marathon that cumulated in approx. 60+ quarts of grape juice and about five pints of grape jelly. Still, I did 24 jars last year and they were gone by February. I'm scaling the receipe below to 1 quart so you can plan according to your needs.

One basket of these yielded about 28 quarts!

Peggy C's Grape Juice

(Yield=1 quart of juice)                         
1 cup Concord Grapes
1/2 cup of sugar
Hot boiling water to fill the quart jar.

For each quart jar add 1 cup grapes and follow with 1/2 cup of sugar. Fill jars within a 1/2-1/4 inch of the top.

To can, boil your lids in a separate small saucepan filled with water. After filling jars, take a knife and stir a bit to release any air bubbles. Wipe down the top of the jar lids with a slightly damp, clean dishrag. Using tongs, lift one jar lid per jar, center it on the jar and quickly twist on a canning lid.

Fill with hot water.

Wipe down the lid with a damp towel....

Center lid and quicly screw down canning ring.

Repeat for the number of jars you are making. Then place it in your canner making sure your water covers the jars by at least one inch. Boil or process for 30 mins. Remove from the canner with a jar lifter and carefully place each super heated jar on a kitchen towel on your kitchen counter or butcher block. (I wouldn't put them on a metal surface or marble to prevent thermal shock as they tend to run a bit colder than a counter.)

Jarred grape juice nestled in the pressure canner waiting processing.

Repeat the process as needed. Grape juice tends to be ready in about six weeks or when you notice most of the grapes have lost their color and dropped to the bottom of your can. If you notice the sugar on the bottom of the jar, simply shake it before using.

Enjoy filling your pantry with the gifts of summer and fall! There is nothing like cracking open your own products knowing that YOU manufactured them and can pronounce every ingredient in them. It's those little luxuries that make you smile as you drink your grape juice on some snowy January day. Happy canning!


  1. We use to can grape & apple juice when I was child! The taste is so superior to anything in the store. I can smell it now. Thank you for sharing on the Merry Monday linky party. Pinned & Tweeted! :) ~Stacy

  2. Apple juice would be fun. I would love to learn how to can that!

    1. yes when you figure out how to do that please let me know thank you

  3. What an accomplishment to have all those tasty jars lined up (and without the evil high fructose corn syrup)! Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays :)