Pomegranate Jelly

When the last of the apples have fallen for the season, our pomegranates finally begin to ripen. These bright red globes hang from the tree like ornaments, sometimes bursting open to reveal hundreds of juicy crimson seeds. But what to do with them? You can eat them straight (be careful, the seed juice stains), juice them, or in this case, make pomegranate jelly with them.

Pomegranate Jelly Recipe

The process of canning jelly is specific to what fruit you are canning, the type of pectin you are using - whether natural, liquid, powder - and the ratio of juice to sugar to pectin. If you plan to store your jelly on a shelf, and not in the refrigerator, you need special canning equipment to ensure against spoilage.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 5 cups white cane sugar

You'll also need:

  • 6-7 Eight ounce canning jars

Method

1 Make the Juice. There are two basic ways to make pomegranate juice from fresh pomegranates. The first is to cut open a pomegranate and submerge it in a large bowl filled with water. Remove the seeds underwater; they will sink to the bottom while the white membrane holding them together will float. Discard the peel and membranes. Strain the seeds and put them in a blender. Pulse the blender only a few times so that the seeds are broken up. Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the seed mixture through the strainer. Use a rubber spatula to help press the pulp against the strainer as to extract as much juice as possible.

The second way to juice a pomegranate is to use a juice press. I have an old fashioned press that I use. I wash the pomegranate and cut it into quarters or halves, depending on how big the pomegranate is. I then crush the sections with a press and strain the juice through a mesh strainer. I have found that this method takes half the time or less of the first method, but the flavor can be a little more bitter because you are squeezing the peel as well.

2 Prepare canning jars. Seep the clean, empty canning jars in boiling water for several minutes. Boil a few cups of water in a separate kettle and pour over the lids in a small bowl to sterilize.

3 Measure pomegranate juice and lemon juice in a 6-quart pan. Add pectin, stir and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Reach a full rolling boil, that cannot be stirred down, and add sugar. Boil hard for exactly 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand for a minute and skim off foam.

4 Fill jars to 1/2" of the top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids.

5 Finish canning. This step you need to take if you plan to keep the jelly unrefrigerated. Place the jelly jars, not touching, on a rack in a tall pot of boiling water. The water should cover the top of the jars by at least an inch. Boil for 5 minutes and then remove from the water. Let the jars cool. Check seals, the lids should be sucked down (you'll hear a popping noise as the jelly cools). Once the jars reach room temperature, put them in the refrigerator for a few hours to complete the jellying. Lasts about 3 weeks once opened.

Yield - 6-7 cups.

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Links:
PomWonderful - an informative website all about pomegranates - health benefits, rich history, etc.
Canning Tools - a very useful tools for canning including a jar lifter for lifting hot slippery jars out of boiling water.

24 Comments

  1. EmilyB

    One advantage to doing it the first way (de-seed underwater and then juice the seeds) is that it gives a cleaner flavor. I don’t know if I’m a “supertaster”, but I do seem to be sensitive to bitter flavors, and the pale membrane separating the seeds in a pomegranite has a very unpleasant taste. It’s easy for me to tell by tasting which method was used to juice a pomegranite – the last bottle of pomegranite juice I bought was undrinkable.

  2. Judith

    I made pomegranate jelly this week – it tastes good, but the consistancy is like rubber cement.

    Is it over cooked – or under cooked?

    This is the first time I’ve had such a problem, but used Bell’s Fruit Jell pectin as I couldn’t find any Certo.

    How can I save the dozen jars I put up?

  3. Elise

    Hi Judith,
    Jelly recipes are highly dependent on the brand of pectin. I’m unfamiliar with Bell’s pectin but I would hazard a guess that if your jelly turned out like unhardened rubber cement, you don’t have enough sugar or pectin in the mix. If it turned out like hardened rubber cement, that would mean too much pectin. I think I read somewhere that you can just reheat the jellies, empty the jars into a saucepan, adjust the pectin or sugar or juice levels, re-sterilize your jars (use new lids), and re-can the jelly.

    BTW, my parents were never able to get their pomegranate jelly to jell with natural apple pectin. That’s why my dad was so delighted when I made with pomegranate jelly that actually jelled. I bought them several boxes of the Pectin.

  4. sandy

    Kiwi Jam
    24 kiwis, peeled and mashed
    3/4 cup pineapple juice
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    3 apples, unpeeled and halved
    4 cups white sugar
    In a large saucepan, combine 3 cups mashed kiwi,
    pineapple juice, lemon juice and apples. Bring to a boil
    and then add the sugar; stir to dissolve, reduce heat
    and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove apples, pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal.

    Kiwi Jam

    4 cups mashed kiwi (whirred in a food processor)
    6 cups sugar
    4 tbls lemon juice
    6 oz liquid pectin
    Bring kiwi, sugar and lemon juice to a boil. Add pectin, boil 1 minute. Ladle into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Adjust 2-piece caps. Process 5 minutes in boiling-water canner.
    Yield: 9 half-pints.

    Kiwi Lime Marmalade

    4 kiwis, peeled and trimmed
    Zest of 1 lime, slivered
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    Quarter the kiwis lengthwise, and then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch cubes.

    Combine the kiwis with remaining ingredients in a deep 2 1/2-quart microwave-safe casserole, and stir well.

    Cook, uncovered, at HIGH for 5 minutes. Stir; return to the microwave, and cook until thick, another 6 minutes.

    Let the marmalade to cool to room temperature; then cover tightly and refrigerate. It will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.

    Yields 1 cup.

    and one in Dutch : )

    Sinaasappel- en kiwi-jelly

    Japans Koken – Judith Ferguson
    6 personen

    4 1/2 deciliter sinaasappelsap
    1 1/2 deciliter water
    125 gram suiker
    2 eetlepels agar agar
    2 kiwis; geschild

    Verhit sinaasappelsap met water in een sauskom tot het kookt. Haal het dan van het vuur en roer de suiker erdoor tot die opgelost is. Strooi de agar-agar erover en klop tot hij is opgelost.

    Bevochtig een brood- of puddingvorm (ruim 1 liter) en giet het mengsel erin. Laat het koelen tot het stijf is geworden.

    Stort het op een schaal. Snijd de kiwi en schik de schijfjes op de jelly.

  5. Elise

    Hi Sandy,
    Wow! Thanks for all the kiwi recipes. We have a huge kiwi vine and in the winter get more kiwis than we know what to do with. Question, once picked the kiwis take about a month to ripen (get sweet enough to eat) off the vine. Do you have to use kiwis that have gotten to this point of sweetness for these recipes? or can we use the kiwis as soon as they come off the vine when they are still rather tart?

  6. Barb

    Thank you so much for your research and this information. I cannot wait to try this. Hopefully it will turn out beautifully, and I can give it for Christmas gifts. I also plan to make pineapple preserves, and cranberry jam. This is my first try on any of these, so cross your fingers!

  7. BigJim

    Hello everyone.
    when I make pomegranate jelly, I use the MCP pectin. Since they don’t have instructions for pomegranate jelly, I use the instuctions for grape jelly. It comes out fantastic. You might like to try that next time you make this jelly. I am a diabetic, so I can’t eat it. so I make it for gifts for my relatives and friends.they
    can’t get enough of it.

  8. California Grand-mere

    I have been making both kiwi jam and pomegranate jelly for over 20 years — had to write to the MCP Pectin people for the kiwi recipe since I couldn’t find one back in the ’80s. I always use a small amount of fresh lemon juice (from one of my 5 Myer Lemon trees) to a batch to “brighten” the flavor of the fruit – not much, just a teaspoon or so. And I use the mentioned fruit press (in my garage, with lots of newspapers on the table and floor, since it spurts a lot and my kitchen is white) to squeeze out the juice from the pomegranate halves. I usually freeze the juice since it takes many hours to go through all the pomegrantates my tree produces every other year. I make the jelly from the thawed juice, when I have the time. I tried a low-sugar type recipe using the low-sugar pection by MCP and it was horrible — it didn’t jell and it tasted bitter. Had to add a bunch of sugar and cook it into a syrup to pour over pancakes and ice cream. Never again. I have stevia in the pantry (since diabetes is in my family), but haven’t tried it yet.

    These two, kiwi and pomegrante, make beautiful Christmas presents — the bright red and kelly green (yes, I put some artificial green coloring in the kiwi jam, since it is kinda yellow if you don’t) really match the season!

  9. Daniel

    I just made a batch of this using frozen pomegranates. Aside from having to throw one out due to what appeared to be mold (and thus having to make half a batch), it came out just fine. This is definitely one of the best jellies I’ve ever tasted.

    I used half a packet of Bell pectin and had no problem getting it to gel using the recipe on this site.

  10. Darlene

    This looks so beautiful, it reminds me of the time I was in high school and our garden had profuse Concord grapes growing in the arbor. I made grape jelly from the harvest. The Concord grape fragrance still gives me that “ahhhh” feeling. Regular grapes just don’t do it.

    I would really love to try the pomegranite jelly recipe but I live in the Chicago area and do not have access to bountiful fresh pomegranites. They look pretty tired and uninspiring. Can I use the bottled pomegranite juice? Has anyone tried this?

  11. Cathy S.

    I am wondering if you can add fruit along with the pomegranate jelly recipe? Would you need to change anything? I would love to add raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries. Thank you!

  12. becca

    I recently had my first attempt at making pomegranate jelly. After reading several recipes for the jelly, including yours, I determined that I needed a simpler method to obtain the juice. Not being familiar with pomegranates (having moved from the Midwest), I sought the advice of “farmer’s wives” in the area. Most obtained the required juice by seeding the pomegranate and adding water, cooking and running the juice through cheesecloth prior to making jelly-quite a lengthy process. Besides, I wanted more of a jam, so I harvested the pomegranate seeds in a bowl of water (doesn’t seem to make as much of a spray of juice all over the kitchen), discarding any of the kernels that floated or weren’t of the deepest crimson red, making sure to remove all small pieces of membrane (as I didn’t want a bitter tasting product). I then took the harvested kernels and put them into a crock pot WITHOUT ADDING ANY WATER, set the control on low/warm and let them simmer overnight. In the morning I took the warm kernels and ran them through a wire mesh strainer, resulting in a nice “pulp”. I then used Certo’s pomegranate jelly recipe (found at http://www.kraftfoods.com, as it is not printed on the package insert). Having never tasted pomegranate jelly before, I had to share some of the finished product with the “farmer’s wives”, and obtain their comments, one of them being, “This is the best pomegranate jelly I have ever had.” Needless to say I will continue to use this method; I have frozen several batches of juice for use this winter, as we seem to be using/sharing quite a lot of the jelly. It is wonderful spread over the top of vanilla ice cream! :)

  13. Ella Velthoen

    I use Sure Jell Pectin, and have finally perfected my recipe, I use 6 1/2 cups of juice and 7 cups of sugar as well as the pectin, no lemon or butter. Also when I am juicing, I use a “Jack Lalane Juicer”, it spins all the seeds out and gives me clear beautiful juice. I do have to clean the seeds out of the membrane, but it is worth it.

  14. Diane Bonacci

    I bought some pomegranates today, but I do not want to eat them or prepare them until next week. Can I keep them in the refrigerator until then, or keep them out on my counter. I don’t want to spoil them. Please letlme know. Thank you.

    You should be able to keep them on your counter for a week or two. ~Elise

  15. shawn

    I have used both methods to extract the juice and finally came up with one I feel is ingenious…lol. Use the press but remove the seeds from the peel first, place seeds in large piece of doubled cheeseclothe, tie the end to stop escapees and then press easy clean up and little or no need to strain… hope you try this

  16. Carla

    Though these posts are older…I used this recipe and loved it (thank you). I have a kitchen aid mixer and this WONDERFUL attachment I use to make applesauce…”Fruit and Vegetable Strainer”. I highly recommend this item. Just drop the seads in…juice pours into the bowl and all seeds and skin are disgarded out the other end. Works perfect, little mess and much faster then other methods. Of course, it does cost a bit for it (I think over $100 if bought in store but I got mine on ebay for $60 and use it for EVERYTHING). Just thought I’d pass that on. Thanks again for the wonderful recipe!!!

  17. Julia

    I have made 4 batches of this Jelly and none of them will set! The taste is great but I am tired of syrup! Someone help! Most of the stores around only have regular, low sugar or liquid gelatin avaliable… what should I do! I can’t stand to try and remake another batch :(

  18. Gail

    I just finished a batch of 6 1-cup jars of pomegranate jelly using SureJell Low/No Sugar Pectin, 4 1/2 C freshly squeezed pomegranate juice (which included 2 T fresh lemon juice) and 3 C sugar. It jelled beautifully, and tastes delicious!

  19. Seven

    Thank you again for sharing this recipe. Today marks three years of what I hope is a lasting holiday tradition of making this jelly. One of the local stores has offered a fantastic deal on pomegranates at the end of October the past three years – this year they were 4/$5. I buy bags of them and make jelly to give away at Christmas. They make great teacher gifts!

    I envy you your tree! I can’t imagine how delicious a fresh pomegranate is. We can pay up to $3 each for pomegranates at the beginning of the season!

  20. samplerman

    We have a very large pomegranate bush in our backyard that produces very large fruit and dark arils. I make jelly every November for family and friends. I use an old fashioned juice press. I squeeze the fruit right next to the tree (skin and all)…then cook it down by one fifth using an outdoor camping stove and stainless steel pot. Cooking down the juice removes the bitter edge and the you dont need to filter the juice first…all the pulp floats to the top..you skim it off. I use 5 cups of reduced juice to 7 cups of CANE sugar. One packet of Suregel and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Bring juice to boil, add pectin, bring to boil, add sugar, bring to boil…cook for 8 minutes!!! Can it. Makes about 9 small jars of jelly that is silky yet firm.

  21. Kathy Baker

    I use a juicer for the juice also! It makes it so simple. Not that Pomegranate jelly is simple. I am going to enter ours in the Fresno fair this year! wish us luck! my 10 year old loves to give it as gifts to teachers and neighbors every year. I have 4 trees. Two are very dark seeds, two are lighter. Different kind? I havn’t done anything with the lighter seed fruit yet.

    It may be just a different variety. I’ve seen pomegranates that are light pink, not ruby red, inside. ~Elise

  22. Crystal

    First time making pomegranate jelly. Not sure if its working yet. Hasn’t been a full 24 hours but still looks pretty liquidy. I appreciate the commentary that shares secrets especially the one above that explains how to re-do the jelly in case it doesn’t work. I used about 6 cups of sugar, 1/4 c of lemon juice, 4 c of pom juice, and one packet of powered pectin. It appears from different commentary that the type of pectin is crucial. I used MCP. By the looks of things I’m not sure if this process is working. Would anyone suggest by experience if re-doing the process and adding more pectin would actually help? Thanks!

  23. jen

    This is great, Elise – thanks! The minute that I have enough willpower to save some pomegranate (instead of eating it immediately out of the bowl as I peel), I will make this.

    Most of the farmers were at the end of their pomegranate season here in the Bay Area last week, but I am hoping to check on a couple of central CA farmers this week to see if they have some on the trees yet.

  24. Melissa

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I come back to it year after year. My grandparents have a gigantic pomegranate tree and they do all the hard work every year juicing them. When they give me some of the juice I always love making the jelly. I add about 2 tsp of butter to minimize the foam (a little trick my grandma taught me). Thanks again!

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