When you think of holiday fruits, my guess is that grapes don't ever come into the picture. Well, grape lovers, this one is for you! Christmas Crunch Grapes are a new variety to hit the market between the months of October and December and grown exclusively for Melissa's Produce. Larger and sweeter than the standard seedless red grape and with a pronounced crunch in texture, these late harvest grapes have a distinctive taste.
Once a week we make a meal out of a fruit and cheese platter to which I always add savory little sides like slices of salami, cornichons, and kalamata olives. Today I decided to try out a recipe that has long intrigued me and it made the perfect accompaniment. It will also make a great little hostess gift, and the name of the grapes makes this just perfect.
Mrs. Plagemann’s Savory Pickled Grapes
Slightly adapted from Saving the Season: A Cook’s Guide to Home Canning, Pickling and Preserving, by Kevin West
3 pounds Melissa’s Christmas Crunch Grapes
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
4 small sprigs fresh or dried thyme
2 cups white wine vinegar
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
Prepare your jars by immersing them and the lids in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Remove from water and allow to dry.
Choose grapes that are firm and crisp. Remove them from the stem and wash well. Pack them snugly into four prepared pint jars. Compress the grapes lightly, but don’t crush them. Tuck half a cinnamon stick, a small sprig of thyme, and 3 cloves into each jar.
Combine the vinegar, sugar, and shallots in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Ladle the boiling syrup over the grapes to cover, seal the jars and store in the refrigerator.
Serve cold, drained of the syrup.
For long-term shelf storage, leave a generous ½ inch headspace when you ladle the boiling syrup over the grapes. Seal and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes (usual canning procedure).
Makes 4 pint jars.
This post is linked to: