Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pomegranate Jelly...From Tree to Tabletop!

For over 15 years I've been making pomegranate jelly.  It's my hubby's favorite jelly. Each year I make 4-5 dozen jars, giving most out as Christmas gifts. I bought the juice from a local farmer, he had a small orchard and pressed all the juice.  As promegrante juice gained in popularity so did the price. Last year I paid $30 a gallon for the juice.  My annual jelly project wasn't cheap!

In January we planted a 2-year old pomegranate tree. The landscaper I purchased it from told he me got about a dozen pomegranates from it last year.  So I was hoping to get the equivalent. I enjoyed the growing process of the tree from its first blooms in the spring and small red orbs in the early summer.  By the end of summer we had a tree laden with fruit, so heavy that the still immature branches were hanging on the ground.

This was my first harvest. My hubby laughed and wanted to know when I was going to go to the farmer and buy my juice.  I had read that an average pomegranate produces about 1/4 to 1/2 cup juice so I was hoping to get enough juice to make a few jars of jelly.

His pessimism did not deter me!  Using a pomegranate press that I bought from Amazon I set up shop in a corner of the garage one evening and went to work. An hour later (it was such an easy process!) and I had almost 3 gallons of juice.  This is more than enough for my annual jelly making.  My hubby was impressed!

Pomegranate juice freezes very well which enables me to spread the jelly-making process according to my schedule. I did get 2 batches done this week.  Each batch makes 5-6 8 oz. jars of jelly so I have plenty of batches to go before I'm done for the year. It's an easy jelly to make, doesn't take much time once all the supplies are organized. This recipe was given to me by the pomegranate farmer's wife, many years ago.  She passed away this year but I will always remember my visits with her and her love for her family orchard.

Love the deep red color of the juice!
 Beautiful jelly ready for our toast and for gifts!

Pomegranate Jelly

3 ½ cups pomegranate juice
1 package dry pectin (Sure Jel)
5 cups sugar

Measure juice into 6- to 8-quart saucepot.  Measure sugar into a separate bowl.  Set aside.  Add package dry pectin to juice, mixing thoroughly.

Place juice over high heat.  Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  (If mixture starts to scorch, reduce heat to medium.)

Stir in sugar, mixing well.  Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Continue to boil 2 minutes. 
Remove from heat.  Skim off any foam. (I usually strain, using cheescloth over a strainer).

Fill hot jars quickly to 1/8 inch of tops.  Wipe off jar rims.  Cover quickly with flat lids.  Screw bands tightly.  Invert jars 5 minutes, then turn upright.  After 1 hour, check seals.  Or, use USDA water bath method.

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