Question: “Last week we traveled to a local farm close to our city and picked organically grown concord grapes. We would like to make grape pies, juice and jam, but after my first attempt at peeling the skin with a knife, I got very frustrated as it’s tedious and takes such a long time… And I really don’t want the bitter taste of skin in my jam. Is there a simple way to peel off grape skin quickly? “
Sent by Marcus
Editor: Hi Marcus, a common way to do this is to gently squeeze the stem and the pulp should simply come out, breaking the skin. Then if you don’t want to waste the pulp attached to the skin, have someone scrapping the skin with a spoon or knife, then discard the skin. Place pulp in a pot and cook over medium low heat for about 15 minutes. Mash the pulp with a potato masher to help break down the pulp and release the seeds. Finally, remove pulp from the pot and pass though a food mill or strainer to remove seeds, then proceed as mentioned in your recipe. This works not only for Concord grapes, but all varieties.
If you want to use grapes intact, in fruit salad or desserts, use the blanching technique: immerse grapes in boiling water for a few seconds, then soak in ice cold water. The skin should peel off easily after this treatment. Note that this method doesn’t help to remove the seeds. You’ll still have to split the grapes and remove seeds with the tip of a knife.
(Photo by Acadac under Creative Common License)