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Wine Jelly & Frosted Grapes

By: 
Tina Wasserman
Wine Jelly & Frosted Grapes for the Jewish Holiday of Tu BiShvat

What better way is there to relax on a hot summer’s night than with a cheese board, wine jelly (a wonderfully sweet counterfoil to strong and earthy blue-veined or chevre cheeses), and a good bottle of wine (preferably from the wine country in northern Israel)?

Makes 20 to 30 appetizer servings
Ingredients: 
2 cups of red wine (preferably Shiraz or Zinfandel)
4 whole allspice berries
1 3-inch stick of cinnamon
3 cups of sugar
1 3-ounce pouch of liquid fruit pectin
Directions: 
  1. Combine the wine and spices in a 2-quart saucepan. Heat the wine on high for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the spiced wine to steep for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar, then heat to a rolling boil. Stir constantly for about a minute, until the sugar totally dissolves.
  3. Add the pectin. As soon as the mixture returns to a rolling boil, stir for exactly 1 minute, until the mixture starts to thicken. Pour the jelly into 8-ounce jelly jars, a decorative mold, or a pie plate (if serving today).
  4. Allow the jelly to cool at room temperature for about 1–1 1⁄2 hours before covering with the jar lids. Refrigerate until it’s cold and very firm. (This mixture will refrigerate for weeks without spoiling; it can also be frozen. Do not store in your pantry.)
  5. Decorate the jelly with frosted grapes by tossing the grapes in slightly beaten egg whites or rinsing them under water, then rolling the moist grapes in a few tablespoons of sugar, and then placing the sugared grapes on a plate or rack, and allowing the sugar to dry completely before using as an edible decoration.
Tina's Tidbits: 

  • Frosting grapes with egg white helps the sugar adhere better and longer, but if you are uncomfortable using raw egg whites, water will work almost as well.
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