Grape, Vanilla Bean and Toasted Almond Jam

, from Issue #35. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Grape, Vanilla Bean and Toasted Almond Jam

Serve this unique jam made of whole grapes with slices of toasted brioche and mascarpone, on sourdough bread with ricotta or use as a topping on a tart or cake. Don’t be tempted to use large green grapes. The skins are tough and unpleasant to eat in the finished jam.


1.7 kilograms small, seedless green grapes – to yield about 1½ kilograms of picked grapes
500 grams granulated sugar
¼ cup water
juice 1 large lemon
1 vanilla bean
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted


Pick the grapes off the stems, wash thoroughly in cold water then drain.

Put the grapes, sugar, water and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthways and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Add the seeds and vanilla bean to the grapes.

Slowly bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and allowing the grapes to start releasing their juice. When the sugar is dissolved, bring to the boil and boil for 30-40 minutes. To test for setting, put a teaspoonful of jam on a chilled plate. Run your finger through it and if it leaves a clean line, it’s at setting point. If the jam runs back together, boil for another 5 minutes then try the setting test again.

Stir in the almonds. Using a slotted spoon, divide the grapes between hot sterilized jars and pour on the syrup, filling the jars so the syrup starts to overflow. Tuck in a piece of the vanilla bean and seal tightly. Wipe the jars with a damp cloth and turn upside down to cool. Makes about 4 cups