Small Batch Homemade Grape Jam

Jam is to peanut butter what the sun is to the sky.

It’s the fizz in your soda pop.

The ying in the yang.

You can’t have one without the other. It’s just not right.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever see myself making my own jam. Wasn’t that for farmers and pioneer women?

Now, I can’t imagine not. With an abundance of fresh fruit at my fingertips and a secret hoard of glass jars to store it in, I have no excuse not to. I made my first batch of strawberry jam on a whim. One taste of the superior product has been motivation enough to bless my kitchen with a steady supply. So much so, I vow to never buy store-bought jam again. Here and now, you’re my witness!

Why should you make jam?

-To control the sugar. The recipes I’ve seen use ridiculous amounts like 4 cups for 2 pounds of grapes. It’s not necessary! I think, for the most part, the recipes are old and outdated. No one’s bothered to change them or experiment. I used 3/4 cup sugar and it was plenty sweet. You can really taste grapes rather than overwhelming sweetness. Imagine that.

-To control the texture. I like my jam fairly smooth. It’s entirely up to you how chunky you want to leave it.

-There are no worries about the canning process. With small batches you can store it for as long as 2 months in a glass jar in your refrigerator. Maybe longer! None of mine has lasted to test it. Freezing is an option too.

All the recipes I saw called for removing the skins and adding them back in after cooking for a time. I skipped that step and just started with the whole grapes. I’m a rebel.  It made no noticeable difference in the finished product.

Do you ever wonder what the difference is between jelly, jam and preserves?

-Jelly is made with fruit juice.
-Jam is made with fruit pulp or crushed fruit and is less stiff than jelly.
-Preserves are made with chunks of fruit in a syrup or a jam.

Here’s a good plan: buy grapes, spend an hour making jam while a loaf of peanut butter bread bakes, slather said jam on warm pb bread. Make sure someone’s there to steady you. Swoon. Share the glory! Pat yourself on the back. Be proud. You just made your own jam!

Small Batch Homemade Grape Jam

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: about 4 cups

Small Batch Homemade Grape Jam

Easy, small-batch homemade jam recipe - no canning equipment needed!


2 pounds black seedless grapes
3/4 cup water
3/4 – 1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 box Sure-Jell pectin


  1. Put a small plate in the freezer before starting to test the jam thickness later on.
  2. Add grapes and water to a large sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, about 20 minutes, helping to break the grapes apart with your spoon. Caution: sputtering grape juice can hurt! Use a screen protector in between stirring.
  3. Turn off heat and allow to cool just a little. While still warm use a hand blender to puree to desired consistency or use a food processor or blender. Add back to pan.
  4. Bring to a simmer and stir in sugar and pectin. Continue to slowly simmer up to 25 minutes, stirring often. You can test the thickness by smearing a small bit across a chilled plate. If it gels/sets up it is ready and will thicken even further overnight.
  5. Allow to cool. Spoon into glass jars and store tightly sealed in refrigerator up to 2 months or freeze up to 1 year.

View the Sweet Peanut Butter Bread Recipe

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  1. Rohini says

    Hi Reeni, thanks for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it, the market is full of blue grapes. Can you clarify the amount of pectin, used. Is it half of 1.75 oz? TIA

  2. Karma says

    Hi there :)

    Tried the link for the peanut butter bread, it didn’t work, please help :)

    This is awesome by the way, thank you

  3. Rachel says

    I’ve been looking for an easy recipe to make up a small batch of my home-grown grapes and I think this must be it! I love that it’s not overwhelmed with tons of sugar, too! I about laid an egg when I saw the other recipes online that called for 4-6 cups of sugar! One question, what size box for the sure-jell pectin? Since it calls for only 1/2 the box, I want to make sure I get the right size. Thanks! Rachel—Burlington, WA

    • Reeni says

      Hi Rachel! Haha I know – all that sugar is way too sweet for me! The box I used was the 1.75 ounce size – sorry I didn’t specify! Good luck with your jam making! :-)

    • Reeni says

      Hi Tami! You can strain the jelly through a wire mesh strainer! I would do it in step three – process it first then strain and continue with the recipe. Unless you don’t mind the seeds? Then just leave them in. Hope this helps!

  4. Nutmeg Nanny says

    I love homemade jam. I have the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and it’s my bible for all things canning. I usually just cut the recipes in half for small batches and store in the fridge.

  5. Miranda @ Mangoes and Chutney says

    Going to try this – especially for my husband. Grape used to be his favorite, but I never buy it because I love strawberry. This would be a nice surprise for him. Never realized it was so easy to make!

  6. Lauren Kincke says

    Welcome to the world of canning!  I got really addicted last summer, we did jams, jellies, relishes and pickles…this year we’ve already done a carrot cake jam (OMG good), a blackberry-pinot noir jam, pickled carrots, olive oil pickles and two batches of regular pickles! Pioneer times here I come LOL

  7. Faith says

    There is nothing better than homemade jam!  Grape is one of my favorite flavors and I’d love to make it at home!

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