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 juice stains), juice them, or in this case, make pomegranate jelly with them.
How Many Pomegranates for 1 Cup of Juice?
Good question! It depends on the size and juiciness of your pomegranates. For the big ones we grow, they can produce about 1/2 cup of juice each.
Tips on Using Pectin
- For successful jelly, check the use-by date on your pectin.
- If you live in a humid environment, that might have affect the pectin, if any of that humidity had permeated the box of pectin.
- The ratio of sugar to acid to pectin is pretty important, and if something throws off that ratio, that can affect the ability of the jelly to set. So, if you used less sugar, or if your pomegranate juice was not as acidic as pomegranate juice usually is, or if your lemon juice wasn't acidic enough, all of these things can also affect the set. Usually I find that when I have a problem with jelly setting it's because the pectin is too old.
- I also find that if I just put the jelly on the shelf for a few months, it tends to set more over time.
- If you reduce the amount of sugar, then you need to use a special "low sugar pectin", or pectin designed specifically to work with low sugar jams and jellies. The sugar/acid/pectin amounts listed in the recipe are in the proportions needed for the jelly to set, using standard powdered SureJell (or MCP) pectin.
Reader Variations on This Jelly
- Use unsweetened refrigerated pomegranate juice, such as POM Wonderful
- Add smoked habaneros
- Add 1 scant teaspoon rosewater
- Add 1-2 teaspoons butter at the beginning of cooking to minimize foam
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.
4 cups pomegranate juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 (1.75-ounce) package SureJell powdered pectin
5 cups sugar
- 6 to 7 (half-pint) canning jars
- 6 to 7 canning jar lids and bands
- Flat steam rack
- Large canning or stock pot
How to Juice Pomegranates:
There are two basic ways to make pomegranate juice from fresh pomegranates.
The first way 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. Cover the 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.
Prepare for canning:
To heat the jars for canning, place the empty jars on a metal rack in a large, 16-quart canning pot. (Jars must rest on a rack in the pot, not on the bottom of the pot). Fill with warm water at least 1 inch above the jars and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil the jars for 10 minutes to sterilize them.
Reduce heat to warm to keep the jars hot and ready for canning.
Wash the lids in hot, soapy water.
Bring the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and pectin to a rolling boil:
Measure the pomegranate juice and lemon juice in a 6-quart pan. Add the pectin, stir and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.
Add the sugar:
When you reach a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, and add sugar. Return to a boil and boil hard for exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat. Let stand for 1 minute and skim off any foam.
Fill the jars:
Fill jars, leaving 1/2 inch space between the top of the jelly and the rim of the jars. Wipe rims clean. Set the clean lids on top and screw on the bands fingertip-tight.
Process in the water bath:
If you plan to keep the jelly unrefrigerated, a water bath will give you a tighter seal.
Place the jars, not touching, on a the rack in the pot of water that you used to sterilize the jars. The water should cover the top of the jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a full rolling boil, than boil for 5 minutes. Using canning tongs, remove the jars from the water bath and set them on a clean towel on the counter.
Let the jars cool. Check the 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.
Unopened, sealed jars will keep at room temperature for at least a year, but are best consumed within 12 months.
Unsealed or opened jar will keep for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 96 to 112|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 11g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 10g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|