More goodness from my haul of Concord grapes from Tai’s grandmom Louisa’s Downeast Maine grapevines: grape + maple = graple syrup! This syrup is like Voltaire: if it didn’t exist, someone would have to invent it. Mostly so that someone could run around the house singing “graple, graple, graple, I made you out of clay…graple, graple, graple, with graple I will play!” Until that someone’s husband shakes his head, rolls his eyes, says “You’re insane,” and escapes to the garage.
This recipe is easy-peasy and quite delicious. Grape juice is already fairly thick and needs little encouragement to become syrup; the touch of maple syrup takes the edge off of the tang of the grape flavor without making the syrup overly sweet and helps to thicken up the texture. Fantastic over pancakes and vanilla ice cream, I’m sure it would be equally good in yogurt, oatmeal or a fruit smoothie. Also handy for those of you who can’t stand the thought of peeling all those grapes.
Adapted from Grape Syrup in Put ‘em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton
Maine Graple Syrup
- food mill or chinois
- 2 lbs Concord, wild or other purple grapes, stemmed and well-rinsed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup maple syrup
- pinch sea salt
- Prepare canner, jars and lids.
- Combine water and grapes in a medium (4-quart) stockpot or Dutch oven. Bring liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat a simmer until grapes have mostly broken down, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a food mill or chinois. Push through grape pulp; discard seeds & skins.
- Rinse stockpot; return grape pulp to pot and add maple syrup and salt. For a very smooth syrup, blend at this point with an immersion blender. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the juice has thickened slightly (the quality of the bubbles with change), about 5 to 10 minutes. (Do not overcook, or your syrup will turn to jam).
- Fill hot, sterlized jars to 1/4-inch headspace, wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Yields about 3 and 1/2 cups.
- You could substitute honey or sugar for the maple syrup; but then you wouldn’t get to say “graple.” You could also eliminate sweetener entirely, but it will take a longer time to reach a syrupy consistency; or you could increase the maple syrup for a stronger maple flavor; this one is most grape with just a hint of maple.
- It’s easy to cut the recipe in half and simply store this in the fridge in a pint jar.
Canned, store in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year. Refrigerated, use within 1 month.