Marmellata is Italian for marmalade. I was inspired by Faseela's black grape jam and thought of trying some myself. Marmalade and Jam are terms that are very often interchanged; they are pretty much the same. But technically they are slightly different. From what I know, jams have a fine texture as they do not contain fruit pieces while marmalade contains fruit pieces and are usually made from citrus fruits like oranges. Their consistency remains the same though. The critical ingredients that give jams and marmalades their texture and consistency are sugar and pectin. Pectin when heated in presence of sugar causes gelling.
Pectin is naturally available in most berries and fruits but some fruits do not have enough pectin to form jams. In such cases you have to either combine these fruits with high pectin fruits (like apples, lemons, berries) or add pectin additives. Wine grapes have pretty high pectin content and hence, you can make jams / marmalades without any additives. I always used to buy jams before. Tried making my first jam using raspberries and was quite surprised at how easy and tasty homemade jams can be. The plus points being that they are made from fresh ingredients you choose and there are no other additives - pure 'blissful' jam!
Heating is an important factor while making homemade jams. Under-cooking the fruit can produce runny jams and overcooking can produce very stiff consistency. Also make sure you keep cooking till you get the desired consistency as once taken off the heat they will not gel anymore. Storing home made jams in airtight, sterile containers - preferably glass jars; is also necessary if you want to keep them for long. My version of wine grape marmalade is adapted from the wonderful site - 'Italy Revisited'' where you can find some good authentic Italian recipes.
Wine Grape Marmellata: Recipe
(Source: Adapted from Italy Revisited)
- Wine grapes (seedless) - 1 pound (close to 500 grams)
- Castor sugar - 1/4 cup
- Wash the grapes thoroughly and then drain them well.
- Pinch the grapes between your fingers to mash them. If you are using grapes with seeds, this would be the point where you de-seed them.
- Heat a heavy bottom vessel and add the mashed grapes. Once they come to a boil add the sugar. Keep stirring from time to time so that the fruit doesn't stick to the bottom.
- After first few minutes simmer the mixture and keep stirring. You can see that it will gradually start to thicken. When you think the consistency is right take it off the flame (It took me slightly over 30 minutes. Larger quantity would require more time). Pour it in a sterile glass jar. Leave it to cool for few minutes and then store in the refrigerator.
Linking this to I'm the Star by Rasi: