For the first time since they were planted, the small vines have produced some deliciously ripe small bunches of Muscat grapes.
Usually, the weather is too cold at this time of year to allow the poor grapes to ripen but this Autumn the sun’s warmth has worked its magic.
There is not enough, unfortunately, to make wine, so I’m going to make a gelée – or jelly.
You will need:
500g fresh grapes
500g jam sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1 sterilised jam jar ( you can place it in the oven at 100C if the glass withstands it or in the dishwasher on a 60C programme)
1. Rinse the fruit and pluck the grapes from the stems.
2. Place in a big saucepan -or jam pan if you have one – and cover with the water.
3. Simmer gently until the fruit is soft then put it through a sieve.
4. Measure the liquid and pour it back into the saucepan, add the lemon juice and the sugar. It maybe that you have less than 500ml liquid, so you need to adjust the quantity of sugar to be the exact equivalent amount: for example if you have 400ml liquid, you use 400g sugar.
5. Bring to a fast boil for 5 or 7minutes or the time indicated on the sugar packet.
6. Check that it is set by putting a drop of jelly onto a cold saucer.
If it ripples when you run a finger on it, it is set.
7. Fill your jam jar with it and put the lid on. Turn it upside down to create a vacuum. Let it cool and keep it in a cool, dark place.
It could be that it won’t last long!!