Scuppernongs are a green-gold variety of the sweet and fragrant muscadine grapes that grow in parts of the South. The house I called home until I was an adult had a glorious Scuppernong arbor in the backyard. Picking the thick-skinned, seed-laced grapes became a family affair each September. With a bowl in hand and my feet on a stool, even as a child, I treasured those grapes as much as gold. The sweet but slightly sour aroma that marked the beginning of fall will forever be in my memory.
3 qt. ripe Scuppernong grapes (about 5 lb.)
3 cheesecloth sheets
4 to 6 (8 oz.) canning jars with two-piece lids
2 1/2 to 3 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 (1 3/4-oz.) package powdered pectin
How to Make It
Wash Scuppernongs; place in a 6-qt. stainless-steel or enameled Dutch oven, or other large, heavy, nonreactive saucepan. Add 1 cup water, and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring frequently, 20 minutes or until most of seeds have been released from pulp, crushing Scuppernongs with a potato masher to slip skins from pulp.
Rinse cheesecloth, and wring out excess water. Line a large colander with cheesecloth. Set colander over a large bowl or pot. Pour Scuppernong mixture into cheesecloth, and let stand at least 1 hour. Measure liquid (you should have about 41⁄2 cups), and return to Dutch oven, discarding solids.
Sterilize jars, and prepare lids as described on page
While jars are boiling, add 3⁄4 cup sugar for each 1 cup juice to Scuppernong juice in Dutch oven. Add lemon juice. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Sprinkle in pectin, stir well, and return to a rolling boil. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, and let stand until boiling subsides. Skim foam from surface with a metal spoon, and discard.
Fill and process jars as described on page Store properly sealed jars in a cool, dark place. Let stand at least 1 week before serving to allow jelly to fully set. Serve on biscuits or with Brie and crackers, if desired.