European cuisines have their rudimentary beginnings in Neolithic times and the grape and all its products are essential in their dishes. To dress a salad, we need vinegar. To braise beef, marinate game or deglaze a sauce, we need wine. Vine leaves make a perfect pouch for stuffing. Pears are poached in red wine, while peaches are poached in white. Baked apples are best stuffed with macerated muscatels and sultanas.
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- grapes to give 2 litres of liquid.
- 500g of sugar.
Use either white or black grapes with good flavour.
De-stem, wash and juice enough grapes to give 2 litres of liquid.
Place in a saucepan and add 500g of sugar. Bring to the boil and keep simmering until the liquid is reduced by a third. Skim off any scum on the surface.
Once reduced, take from heat and cool a little.
Ladle into sterilised jars, seal and store in a cool, dry place.
Serve black grape jelly with blue and aged cheeses. White grape jelly is ideal for desserts.