Today we brought in our first grape harvest of the season. Four years ago we planted a Bluebell grapevine and it's been a good producer. Bluebell is a table grape and, unfortunately, it has seeds, making for more work. Last year I used our entire harvest to make grape sorbet. Delicious!!! This year we have a lot more to harvest so the first thing I made, today, was grape juice. Here's the process.
MAKING GRAPE JUICE
* Pick the ripe grapes off the stems, and put them in a large pot. Mash them with a potato masher. This was my first problem - I don't have a potato masher. Not a big problem though, I simply put the grapes into my old vintage ricer, crushed the grapes, then dumped the crushed grapes into the pot.
* The next step is to cook the grapes. Put the pot on the stove, cover the pot, and bring the heat up to a simmer. Simmer for ten (10) minutes.
* Next, the mixture needs to get strained. This was my second problem. I planned to use cheesecloth over my pasta strainer, until I looked for my cheesecloth and realized that I had used it up. So, I got out my large sieve with a fine mesh and slowly strained the mixture into a bowl. When that was done, I put it all into a large jar to refrigerate it for use.
The juice is delicious and sweet without adding any sugar. It is organic and healthy. This would also be a good base to make sorbet. That will be my job for the next grape harvest.
P.S. After posting this I bought a potato masher and made another batch of the grape juice. The potato masher is the way to go!