I want you to forget everything you know about jam. I want you to approach this recipe with an open mind and an eagerness to learn. I want you to envision the possibility of transforming something as extraordinary as Concord grapes into a super versatile jam, which tastes good with oatmeal and ice cream, yogurt and toast, over pancakes and with berries. I want to show you that you can make something amazing by using just one ingredient. I want you to celebrate this seasons darkest, tastiest fruit by making grape jam, lots of it, within the comfort of your own kitchen.
Yes, this recipe, unlike most of the ones I post, is time consuming, but most of this time is spent unattended. Grapes go into a large pot over low heat. Like magic, each grape starts to break down, slowly transforming into a deep hued syrup. Since Concord grape skin is pretty tough and tannic, and the seeds inedible, all the components within the pot are pressed through a sieve after it has been cooking for an hour. This step makes overall texture of the jam smooth, clean, and saucy. After another hour of cooking over low heat, the syrup thickens into a loose jam that is sweet, tart, and delicious.
What I like about this Concord Grape Jam is, that unlike most other jams, its inherent acidity and flavor complexity is unique. While concord grapes are super sweet, they are also packed-full of unexpected flavors. They are floral and tart, juicy and robust, almost like candy. These flavors translate into the jam, making it an exciting addition to both sweet and savory dishes, for either, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert.
Because just posting about jam seems too simple, and encouraging you to eat it with toast underwhelming, I will show you my favorite companion to this delicious jam. I discovered quinoa flakes recently, and as I often do, fell immediately in love and have been obsessed since. Unlike oats, quinoa flakes have a little bit less body and more flavor. Its smooth consistency and nutty flavor makes it the perfect pair against flavorful ingredients and more complex textures, like the ones found in this jam.
I like cooking quinoa flakes in water over milk, as it encourages a smoother consistency. I then like to add coconut yogurt and honey for creaminess and sweetness. To finish the porridge off, I top everything off with jam, fresh concord grapes, and sesame seeds. The result, a creamy, smooth, breakfast porridge that is delicious, satisfying, and unique.
Concord Grape Jam
Makes about 1 cups
Cooking time 2+ hours
- 4-5 pounds grapes, such as concord
Remove grapes from stem. Place in a large sieve and wash under running water thoroughly to remove any dirt. Transfer grapes to a large pot and place over a low heat. Cook for an hour. Grapes will release a lot of liquid pretty quickly; so don’t worry about adding anything else to the pot. After an hour, press the grapes and their juices through a sieve to remove all seeds and skins. Place liquid back onto pan and over low heat for another hour, hour and a half, depending on desired consistency. Jam should have thickened significantly and reduced in size by a half. Place jam in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use. Keeps for two to three weeks.
Concord Grape and Quinoa Breakfast Porridge
Cook time 5 minutes
- 1 ¼ cup water
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup quinoa flakes
- ¼ cup coconut or greek yogurt
- 2-3 tbsp. raw local honey, or maple syrup if vegan
- 1 tbsp. concord grape jam
- ¼ cup concord grapes
- chia seeds and sesame seeds to garnish, optional
Place water in a small pot with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Add quinoa flakes. Reduce heat and stir vigorously for 90 seconds. Immediately remove from heat. Stir in yogurt and honey to taste. Let cool slightly for a couple of minutes. When ready to serve, transfer porridge into serving bowls. Add a tablespoon of jam and a handful of fresh concord grapes. Garnish with a pinch of sesame seeds and/or chia seeds. Eat while still hot.