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.
- 4 cups pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 package SureJell powdered pectin*
- 5 cups white cane sugar
*If using MCP pectin, use 3 cups of pomegranate juice, 4 cups sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice for one package of pectin
- 6-7 Eight ounce canning jars
- Fine mesh strainer
- Steaming rack for water bath
1 Make the Juice: 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.
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 Bring pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and pectin to a rolling boil: 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.
4 Add sugar: When you 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.
5 Fill jars: Fill jars to 1/2" of the top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids.
6 Water bath: It helps to take this step if you plan to keep the jelly unrefrigerated. A water bath will give you a tighter seal.
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.