Black grape jam is super easy to make. Adding the warming spices and the herbal depth of rosemary takes it from being just any old jam to something really rather special.
Black Grape Jam With Rosemary And Spices
Grape jam is incredibly popular in Italy. Actually anywhere in the Mediterranean where the great grape is found in such abundance. In the USA grape jam is big too of course.
But my spiced black grape jam with rosemary is much more Mediterranean in its make up and tastes amazing.
Foodie inspiration comes in all sorts of ways. From seeing something in a movie or an image in a magazine. To walking in the woods and spotting mushrooms that would be just perfect being turned into garlic mushrooms preserved in aromatic olive oil.
Sometimes inspiration can be far more mundane. For this grape jam it was the local supermarket and half a kilo of seedless black grapes being sold for a mere 20p.
As many of you will know I’ve done grape preserves before.
My Bordeaux Jelly (aka red wine jelly) that I made on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas TV show when I was a finalist in the hamper class is still one of my favourite preserves.
This spicy black grape jam is so easy to make and unlike my grape jelly you don’t have to let it drip overnight.
No, this black grape jam is made in less than an hour. Fast jam with fabulous flavour. What more could you want.
No-fuss easy jam recipe
There is no need to peel the grapes. Come on, as the saying goes – life’s too short to peel a grape! No need for pectin either, the lemon juice will be sufficient to make this grape jam set beautifully for you.
Ingredients for this black grape jam
Basically this is a 3 ingredient grape jam
I’ve used just 400g of seedless black grapes. There was 500g in the box but someone ate the rest.
Juice and zest of half a lemon
300g granulated sugar (no need for jam sugar or preserving sugar for this simple jam recipe)
Now for those spices to liven this jam up
I used ground ginger and black pepper to give my black grape jam a good kick of warmth.
Plus a sprig of rosemary for that lovely fragrant earthiness this wonderful herb is so famous for.
How to make black grape jam
Like all my jam recipes (and let’s face it, I’ve made a few over the years) this is a super easy recipe to make.
Simply remove the grapes from their stalks and throw them into a heavy-based pan with high sides. Basically any soup type pan will do. You just don’t want hot jam boiling up and over the sides which is why you want to use a cooking pot as opposed to a saute pan/frying pan for jam making.
Grate the zest of the lemon and squeeze out the juice and add both to the pan. Add the sprig of rosemary and the ground ginger and black pepper plus the sugar.
Let the sugar dissolve at low heat. If you have the heat too high the sugar will stick and burn and ruin everything. So a nice low heat till that sugar dissolves completely, please.
Now raise the heat till the jam is boiling and bubbling like lava. The grapes will have popped in the heat and be breaking down nicely releasing all that tasty juice.
Help them along with a potato masher to really break them down completely.
Skim off any foam on the top and carefully remove the rosemary and discard.
Jam is ready to pot when it reaches 105C, that’s the magical setting point with jams and jellies.
If you don’t have a thermometer you can test if the jam is ready by using the chilled saucer test. See my jam-making tips below for all the information you could need.
My black grape jam was ready in 20 minutes.
New to jam making? Then check out these easy articles to take you from zero to hero in the preserving stakes in no time at all.
How much jam does this make
Since I only used 400g of black grapes I didn’t expect to get a whole lot of jam. However, this amount made 2 250ml jars of spiced black grape jam with rosemary.
How long will black grape jam keep
Like all of my jams with standard sugar content, this black grape jam will keep for up to a year. Store your jam in a cool dry place. Once opened store jam in the fridge and use within a month.
How to serve this jam
Black grape jam goes just as well with your toast in the morning as it does with a cheeseboard in the evening.
The spices and rosemary in the grape jam make it particularly good with cheese.
Try some as a glaze when roasting pork. Simply loosen the black grape jam with a little water and paint it on to the pork before roasting. It gives a wonderfully sweet yet spicy and aromatic flavour to the meat.
Thin with just a tablespoon of rich red wine and use this lovely grape jam as a topping for really good quality vanilla ice-cream to make a super easy dessert.
Looking for more great ways to use grapes? Then check out these recipes before you go;
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Spiced black grape jam with rosemary
- 400 g black seedless grapes
- 1/2 lemon juice and grated zest
- 300 g granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- sprig of fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary)
- heat all ingredients in a high sided pan on low temperature till the sugar has dissolved
- raise temperature and boil mashing down the grapes with a potato masher till it reaches setting point 105C. Discard the rosemary and spoon into sterilised jars