I've developed a habit of seeking sanctuary in Norfolk when my husband is working nights at the hospital. Home seems strange when there is a sleeping lion recovering from a previous shift the night before. We ran away, Jasper and I, to my parents home.
Mum & Dad spend lots of time in the garden, getting everything just so and over the years anyone can, quite literally, see the fruits of their labour. One of their greatest successes is a vine growing just by the kitchen, planted a few years back with little expectation. With each summer it seems to gather momentum and this year the branches are dripping with purple fruit.
We talked of the options. Grape tart, grape salad or grape cheesecake were top of the list but none of these would dent the enormous crop. No, it was grape Jelly seemed to be the only answer. Three hours of simmering later and nine jars were sitting neatly on the table.
1 litre of grape juice
1 kilo granulated sugar
Juice of one large lemon
200ml Certo (or pectin)
Make the grape juice by however means you can. I steamed the small bunches and gently waited until they released their litre of nectar.
Heat the grape juice in a large pan with the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to boiling point and bubble for 15 minutes or so, until the syrup has thickened. Remove from the heat and stir through the certo. Allow to cool slightly before pouring into jars. Allow to set.