Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mrs. Plagemann’s Savory Pickled Grapes

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
12 cloves
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.

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Linda said...

I've never seen pickled grapes! Did you process them or do the fridge version? Eating them with the meat and cheese platter sounds perfect.

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

I'm actually eating grapes right this minute. Green though. I wonder if they would also work? Mixing colors would look pretty too!

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

I actually cut the recipe in half and made the fridge version, but I liked them so much that the next time I'll process them. I'll also use a variety of different grapes for added interest, and maybe pump up the vinegar a bit. This is similar to a wonderful spiced peach recipe that my mother used to make. I'll have to dig around for that because it is particularly festive at this time of the year.

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

Any color grape would work out just fine, I think. The spiced peaches recipe that I mentioned above also contains bing cherries and they are delicious! I think dark grapes, for example, would be amazing, but green would be good as well.

My Cozy Corner said...

Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop

Katherines Corner said...

thank you for haring at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. Watch for your feature tomorrow xo

Miz Helen said...

Your recipe was featured on Full Plate Thursday. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and enjoy your new Red Plate!
Miz Helen