Freezing Pomegranates for Jelly

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Over two weeks ago, we harvested our pomegranates and forgot about them.  Since then, the fall activities have taken over, but we still have a box of pomegranates on our kitchen table.  Although I decided to make pomegranate jelly at a later date, I still needed to freeze the pomegranate seeds.  I noticed that some of the fruit was already beginning to rot, so I had to move on getting this task done.

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Allowing the pomegranates to sit in a box also resulted in hard outer shells.  Taking six pomegranates at a time, I soaked them in a bowl of water for several hours or overnight.  Then I cut the pomegranates in half, returned them to the water, and picked the seeds away from the pith.  It’s a time-consuming process, but there’s no other way to remove pomegranate seeds quickly and easily.

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I’m lucky to have dark, crimson stains on kitchen towels instead of my clothes.  I’ve already stained the wood on a chopping board and dripped pomegranate “blood” on my kitchen tile.  When you place pomegranates in water, at least you have the chance of getting the seeds piled in one place.  It’s the seeds that I want to freeze.  The rest goes into my compost pile.

It takes about five or six pomegranates to produce two cups of seeds.  After draining the water and taking out most of the pith, I placed the seeds in freezer bags.  In two or three weeks, I’ll defrost the seeds and use them in a pomegranate jelly recipe.

When it comes to canning my own tomato sauce and making my own jams and jellies, I found out that need to be in the mood to stand over a steaming canner.  Making pomegranate jelly should be quite an experience.  I like the idea of using our own pomegranates, but I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me.  After defrosting the frozen pomegranate seeds, I still need to run them briefly through the blender.  Then crank the mixture through a hand-held food mill.  It’s extracting the pomegranate juice that will take most of my time.

The secret is out.  It takes a lot of pomegranate seeds to make jelly.  Which is probably why pomegranate juice is so expensive.  I’ve seen grandmas advertise on Craigslist or Freecycle for pomegranates in the fall–in exchange for a couple of jars of homemade pomegranate jelly.  I don’t know how mine will turn out, but I want to say that I at least tried.  If I don’t get a thrill out of making my own pomegranate jelly, I could always find a jar or two at the farmers market in the future.

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6 comments

  1. ChgoJohn · October 11, 2013

    This sure does look like a great deal of work, Arlene, and I give you credit for doing it. I use 5 1/2 cups of grape juice to make my jelly. I’m sure you could make a smaller amount but, even so, it is far easier to get grapes to render their juice than it does pomegranates. Unless you have a tree, as you do, I think making the jelly would be prohibitively expensive for the rest of us. Still, I can;t wait to learn more about the process and look forward to your posts. Thanks for sharing as much as you’ve accomplished.
    PS I’ve learned to wear dark blue when making grape jelly. 🙂

  2. Arlene Poma · October 11, 2013

    John, I still have pomegranates soaking away in my kitchen sink! I am determined to finish those today. I am curious about this whole process of making pomegranate jelly. Otherwise, I would think of it as a lot of work. Thanks for the tip! I’ll be wearing something dark while playing with those seeds.

  3. Raymund · October 21, 2013

    Interesting! whats the best way of juicing them?

    • Arlene Poma · October 22, 2013

      Raymund, I’m going to whirl the seeds through the blender. Then send them through my food mill to extract more juice. I will be making a big mess, but I hope to get as much juice out of my pomegranates. This whole jelly-making process is a lot of work. But it’s fun!

  4. marlenebertrand · October 25, 2013

    You are the most ambitious person I know. After reading about how to freeze pomegranate juice, I can tell you right now that I’ll probably never freeze pomegranate juice. Instead, I’ll be trying to “hit you up” for one of those jars of pomegranate jellies.

    • Arlene Poma · October 26, 2013

      I’ve got the pomegranates ready to go (to juice), but I am kinda scared to make the jelly. Today, I bought lids for the tiny canning jars. That’s a big step. I plan to make the pomegranate jelly next week. I hope the stuff jells! Otherwise, there goes some Christmas basket gifts.

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