Muscadine Jelly

I grew up eating homemade muscadine jelly on hot buttered biscuits in the mornings or even as the J in my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Muscadine jelly definitely is delicious. It tastes similar to grape jelly, but with a bit more tartness.

You may want to read about my love of muscadines. Then you’ll understand why I’m so picky about my recipe for making jelly.

No wasting these babies.

I really think it may be considered a sin in the south if you don’t use your muscadines.

Well, at least it is in my family.

I bet someone would stage an intervention.

But no need. I’m on it. I love them too much to let them waste away.

So here’s how we make our muscadine jelly.

Pick through your muscadines and make sure you remove any stems or blemished fruit. Wash them well and then place into a large stockpot. You’ll need about 5 pounds of muscadines to produce about 5 cups of juice. Don’t make double batches, it just never turns out right.

Cover the muscadines with water and place on cooktop.

Cover the muscadines with water and place on cooktop.

While muscadines are beginning to simmer, mash them with a potato masher. Continue to mash and mash and mash as they cook for about 15 minutes.

This is where you can really work out any frustrations you might have had during the day.

It’s like free therapy.

And there is nothing wrong with a little free therapy every now and then.

Pour the cooked muscadines through a strainer into another large stockpot. You get to mash it a little bit more to make sure you get all of that yummy juice that you can.

Bring muscadine juice to a rolling boil,  for 5 minutes, then reduce to simmer.

Add pectin to the juice and stir until well-dissolved.

Add sugar when juice reaches a boil. Allow to reach a hard boil, about 220 F, for about 1 minute, stirring to prevent burning. Test to be sure your juice has “jellied” per the pectin packaging directions. If it has not “jellied” add a bit more pectin, stirring constantly to prevent lumping. Normally, I keep another box of pectin on hand just in case I need to add a bit more.

While you are cooking the juice, go ahead sterilize your jars in another pan of water. This takes about 10 minutes.

And now skim the film off of the top of your jars.

Screw the lid on the jar and place back into a pan of water that covers the top of the jars. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes. Remove from water, dry it off and get ready to enjoy  with some warm buttermilk biscuits in the morning.

You’ll need the following when making your jelly.

  • 12 8 ounce jars with lids and rings or 6 pint jars with lids and rings
  • 1 strainer
  • 2 large stockpots
  • 1 potato masher

4.7 from 3 reviews
Muscadine Jelly
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A recipe for the Southern classic muscadine jelly.
Serves: 12 eight ounce jars or 6 pint jars
  • 5 cups fresh muscadines juice (about 5 gallons of muscadines)
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1 package pectin (+1 spare box)
  1. Wash muscadines and place in stockpot.
  2. Bring to boil and mash muscadines with a potato masher.
  3. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to mash muscadines for about 15 minutes.
  4. Pour fruit through a strainer into a stockpot.
  5. Return to heat and bring to a boil.
  6. Pour in pectin and boil for 5 minutes.
  7. Add sugar, stirring to prevent burning.
  8. Boil for 1 minute.
  9. Test to determine if juice will "jelly" per pectin packaging instructions. If not, add a bit more pectin from your spare box.
  10. Pour juice into sterilized jars, either 12- eight ounce jars or 6 pint jars.
  11. Allow to sit overnight.

Muscadine jelly is a definite favorite for my family with biscuits and with pork. I hope you enjoy it!



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  1. 2


    I bought a book called _well preserved_ last year in the hopes I could get over my fear of canning, hasn’t happened yet but I”m still hopeful. Maybe it will take friends like you to break me free! :) Looks awesome. I can’t even imagine the taste since I’m not sure I’ve ever had this type of grape in my life!

    • 4

      Emily says

      You can do it!!! I would suggest starting with jellies and jams since they seem to me to be the easiest. It’s easier than you think and very rewarding!

    • 5

      Mike says

      For Robyn Stone– I use your muscadine jelly recipie and it works well, but I
      usually only get three and 1/2 pints instead of the six pints that the recipie
      implies that you should make—–any thoughts—-thank you—Mike

  2. 7



    the recipe sounds easy, but I’m not sure exactly how much water to boil the grapes in.Do you just put enough water to cover the grapes as you said , or is there a set amount to put in to come out to the number of jars you will get? Also, i’ve seen some recipes (The Happy Berry website that does not call for putting the finished product in boiling water to seal them.Is it necessary to seal them? THANKS.


    • 8

      Robyn says

      Hi Mary,
      I just add enough water to cover the grapes. I’ve always finished them off in the boiling water since that’s how my Mama and Grandmother did it. Let me know if you skip this step and how it works for you. I’m all about simplifying where you can!


  3. 9

    Sandy the Savage says

    Just discovered these delightful little treasures We are in Kentucky and the berries are a lot smaller. Growing up we always referred to them as possum grapes. I tried a batch and followed your recipe and the jelly is absolutely wonderful!! Your directions are clear and the pictures are great. Thank you so much for these instructions.

  4. 10

    margaret says

    near the end of the muscadine recipe you state “and now skim the film off the top of the jars. What is this and how do you skim it

  5. 11


    Looks great! I’m going to try this tonight :) But I think it is a little confusing because your recipe at the bottom of the page skips several of the steps that your detailed instructions include. I almost always skip to the recipe (since I know how to make jelly already), so it would be very helpful if the recipe actually included the same instructions or at least steps as the post.


    • 13


      So sorry it didn’t work for you, Lee. Did you add the additional box of pectin and it still didn’t produce jelly? I’ve not had that happen. Can you tell me more about it so we can figure out what could have happened?

    • 14

      Bill Williams says

      Add 2 boxes to start with if you use that amount of fruit indicated in the recioe. I, too, got excellent tasting syrup. So, for those times that we need jelly, I’ll toss in a tbsp. of pectin (per 16 oz size) and stir/boil for a few minutes and pour it back into the jar for a 5 hour chill in the frig. Works great for a dual purpose food. (Hey, Lemons into lemonade)

  6. 15

    paul says

    I put my muscadines through a juicer. Boiled the juice with pectin and then added sugar. They did not set up so after 24 hours I reboiled the juice and added more pectin. They still have not set up. What am I doing wrong and can I still get it to set somehow?

    • 16


      Hi Paul,
      I would try to reboil the juice and add another cup of granulated sugar. Just wondering, about how many cups of juice did you use? My muscadines haven’t fully ripened yet, but it has been so wet this summer that I can tell they are a bit juicier than in years past.

  7. 18

    Crystal says

    I made a batch with white muscadines that set beautifully and tastes amazing, and then a batch of red that is the consistency of apple sauce. I made them the exact same way. Why did the red not set? The grapes were super juicy so I ended up using double the pectin.

  8. 19

    Charlene Patrick says

    Hi Robyn
    Last fall was the first time I tried my hand at muscadine jelly in a long time. I looked for & studied a lot of recipes until I came across yours. It Is so easy and delicious. As a matter of fact I am making some muscadine jelly right now. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Love it!!!!

  9. 20

    Kat says

    Yep! It’s a sin in my family too! I think a good ripe muscadine is a little bite of heaven! It’s hard for me to save enough for jelly because I eat so many before I get them in the house! They are addictive!! This year our vines have put out the biggest sweetest berries I have ever had!! I heard on doctor oz that they prevent heart disease too!

  10. 21

    Melinda Treat says

    You are saying “package” of pectin. I have the instant pectin…can I use that? If so, how much?

  11. 22

    Tosha Leech says

    GREAT recipe!!! My first time making Jelly! I have a Scuppernog (white Muscadine) vine at home and it produced so many grapes this year that I was a little overcome with what to do with them all..I picked about 5 gallons and juiced them. I was not able to make the jelly for a few weeks, but the juice kept nicely in the fridge until I was ready to use it.

    I ended up with 6 half pint made with splenda (mom and dad are both diabetic) and 12 half pint jars and 6 pint jars made with sugar….I brought a jar into work this morning and made hot biscuits, needless to say it was a HUGE hit and the jar is empty!
    we have enough jelly to last for 2 years…(if I can keep it hidden)

    thanks for the recipe!!

  12. 23

    janice says

    Hi Robyn! As I have been a cook and jelly maker for lets just say awhile lol…When I first started jelly making I ran across the “syrupy” jelly too. I tried again and then I realized..Hey wonder if I cook this longer than a minute if it would help? Guess what? It did! Now any jelly I cook goes for about 1 1/2 minutes and sometimes almost 2. Results? Perfect jelly everytime! hmmm I too got only 3 pints out of one batch lol but it all turned out great and have had many compliments on it!!! Thanks for the recipe and the sharing :)

  13. 25

    Ely says

    Great recipe!!!! Thanks to you this is My first time making Muscadine jelly, because the instructions with the pics was so simple and easy. Thanks 4 sheer.

  14. 26

    Walter says

    I have my own wild muscadine vine that is over 10″ diameter at the base and I have trained this traditionally vertical grower into a 100′ long trellis (with a small volunteer growing from the other end). I get about 5 gallons of muscadines a year picking sporadically. I was excited to find this recipe for muscadine jelly. However, I’m sorry to say that the amount of water it calls for should be more clear as in my case and at least one other poster we ended up with a vast amount too much muscadine juice. No “cooking down” or amount of Pectin would “solve” this problem so I’m left 8 quarts of muscadine swamp water as I have come to call it. It’s a disappointment but it is good in mixed drinks and marinades.

    So, if you are making this recipe, perhaps “cover” the muscadines means water to the bottom of the top level or even less. You can add more water in the cooking process if needed. If you fail to do so, be prepared to enjoy quite a bit of muscadine swamp water in your cosmopolitan or on your pork loin. If fact, be prepared to drink nightly and eat pork daily as I am.

  15. 27

    Melissa says

    Wondering if I use my steam juicer to get the juice out…would that work? And also wondering where to get Muscadine berries? Never heard of them???

  16. 28

    gerrie says

    my neighbor asked me if I knew how to make jelly because she has muscadine vines but doesn’t know what to do with the grapes beside eat them. I said sure and she brought over grapes, sugar, sure-jel and jars. So I’ve been at it most of today and just finished the first batch per your recipe. It’s delicious! Your recipe made 7 1/2 x 8 oz jelly jars and I still have 8 cups of juice in the fridge. It’s truly been a nearly all day affair and my hands and arms are purple. I didn’t have a jelly bag so we used one of my husband’s t-shirts. He confirms it was worth the sacrifice.

    No problem with jelling I kinda lost track of time dealing with the jar sterilization so I probably boiled the juice closer to 2-3 minutes. I used the “spoon test” to tell if I had jelly yet and it worked perfectly. Some things you just never forget!!

  17. 29

    Sandi says

    I love this recipe and followed it exactly from the start. I used 5 cups of juice and 6 cups of sugar and 1’box sure jell. Followed the exact recipe and only made 6 half pint jars. What are your thoughts. I see where you yeild 12. Thanks for sharing. Appreciate the help. What could I do to make this for my diabetic husband. We use Splenda. The other jellies I have made with Splenda didn’t do well. Some are cloudy looking. Thanks.

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