I live on a 1/4-acre suburban lot. I have one pomegranate tree in the backyard. And one planted in the front yard. I love everything about pomegranates, but you won’t see me eating them because I’m too lazy to pick out the seeds. I leave that to Mister Jack because he’s a very patient man. What draws me to pomegranates? It’s their rich, outer red color. Split them open, and the seeds are this brilliant ruby red.
Where else can you find these rich reds in nature?
I would like to plant more pomegranate trees on our property, but Mister Jack thinks all the spaces are taken. So I am content to watch the fruit grow. In October or November, it’s time for the harvest.
This year, we harvested our pomegranates before the varmints (birds, squirrels, voles, and rats) could get to them. I was so proud of this year’s harvest because I wanted to make pomegranate jelly for Christmas gifts. I was warned that making pomegranate jelly was hard work, but I’m not the type of person to listen. I wanted to experience the process.
It took me a week to strip the seeds from a box of pomegranates. I had pomegranates bobbing away in my sink because I had to harvest those seeds under water. By the time I was done, I had about 15 freezer bags. Each of them contained two cups of pomegranate seeds. When I made my first batch of pomegranate jelly, I barely had enough for the four cups of pomegranate juice that was required. I have six months to use these frozen pomegranates. For my second batch of pomegranate jelly, I will probably need to add some store-bought pomegranate juice.
When I finally had the courage to make the jelly, I defrosted the seeds. I quickly ran them through my blender. Then I took this pulp and put it through my food mill. When you are doing this by hand, the process of extracting the juice seems to take forever. Since the pomegranate juice continued to drip, I put my food mill over a mixing bowl. I placed these in the refrigerator. The next morning, I knew I had more juice just by leaving it there overnight.
There are many recipes available for pomegranate jelly. I adapted this online recipe from Simply Recipes:
4 cups pomegranate juice
1/4 teaspoon Ball Citric Acid in each canning jar
1 1/2 packages powdered pectin
5 cups sugar
- Sterilize canning jars, lids and rings by placing them in boiling water.
- Mix pomegranate and pectin over high heat. Stir as you bring it to a boil. When a full rolling boil is reached, and the mixture cannot be stirred down, add sugar. Boil hard for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
- Fill jars to 1/2″ from the top. Screw on lids and rings.
- Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from boiling water. Cool.