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Pomegranate jelly is a fantastic way to capture the flavor of fresh pomegranates and enjoy it all year long. This pomegranate jelly recipe is a simple combination of pure pomegranate juice, sugar, and pectin, and produces a bright beautiful homemade jelly that’s full of punchy tart flavor and just the right sweetness.
Pomegranate is one of my favorite childhood flavors. My great grandparents had a huge tree and every year we’d help them gather them. My brothers and I would make a mess pulling apart the ripe fruit and snacking on the seeds. To this day I still love them, tart and sweet and delicious. But they don’t get enough love, aside from juice and sprinkling seeds on the occasional dish, I hardly see the flavor used! Which is why this pomegranate jelly recipe is one of my favorites, and a great way to preserve my favorite flavors all year long.
What is Jelly?
Jelly is a gelled fruit juice that should be clear, glossy, and wobble slightly when set. No fruit chunks, no zest, just clear beautiful jelly.
There are many forms of preserves that a home cook can make (read about them ALL here), but jelly is a favorite of mine. It has a huge variety of applications, and this particular homemade pomegranate jelly is definitely high on my list of preferred flavors.
Pomegranate Jelly Ingredients
Just like my Homemade Strawberry Jam, this pomegranate jelly recipe is made of 3 simple ingredients: Pomegranate juice, sugar, and pectin.
Do I need to use Pectin?
Many fruit juices simply don’t contain enough natural pectin to make a jelly. Most natural pectin is contained in the skin and seeds or core of fruits and unlike jams and other forms of preserves, only juice is used to make jelly.
Even the fruits that DO contain enough natural pectin, utilizing it requires cooking it, then draining in a jelly bag overnight, then cooking AGAIN to thicken and set. I love making homemade staples like jelly, but I don’t love projects that require more than a day. We’ve got lives!
Pectin resolves that for me. It’s consistent, easy to use, and I can get my jelly made in 30 minutes. Win? Yes.
You can use any form of pectin you are most comfortable with, low sugar, regular dry, or even your own homemade apple pectin. I use standard dry pectin in this recipe. To use low sugar pectin, simply refer to the guide that is included in every box of pectin to adjust the sugar required for the 5 cups of juice needed for this recipe.
Do I need to use fresh pomegranate?
Many years ago my mom took a shoot from that tree on my great grandparents property and planted it in her own yard. Now we’ve got pomegranates in abundance every year. So many that we often break them down and freeze the seeds by the gallon. Juice is easy to come by for us.
That being said, buying pomegranates for the juice can be outrageously expensive. Soooo, just be sure to use only 100% pomegranate juice with no added sugar. There are many pomegranate juice blends (which might make excellent jellies), but for this pomegranate jelly recipe, get the pure stuff.
Making Pomegranate Jelly
Once you have your ingredients it’s just a matter of following the steps correctly to get a perfectly set, clear jelly. But quickly first…
If you’re using pomegranate seeds
If you are using whole seeds, you’ll first need to process them. We used a gallon bag full of seeds and popped them into a blender (thawed first if frozen). Let them break down a bit, just enough to release the juice, then place into a fine mesh sieve.
Press down gently and collect the juice below. When you have 5 cups, you’re good to go.
With any jelly, jam, or canning recipe I find getting organized and ready is the easiest way to ensure success. If you’re planning on water bath canning, get yourself set up first.
Water Bath Canning
- If water bath canning get four 16 ounce (pint) mason jars with screw bands and unused seals clean by washing in warm soapy water. Lay them on a clean dish towel to dry.
- Get a large pot full of water boiling. You will need enough water to cover the jars by at least 1 inch when submerged to seal them properly.
- Assemble your other tools like a wide mouth funnel, ladle, and jar clamps. If you do canning even occasionally, getting an inexpensive canning tool kit is a great idea for easy use and safer handling of the jars.
- Read the instructions for the seals, some brands require prepping the seals in hot water first, others do not. If required, do it now.
- Jars need to be warm before adding hot jelly, to do this I like to dip the jars into the boiling water for a few minutes, then I remove, flip upside down to dry (carefully, it’s hot!) and then flip back over to fill.
If canning isn’t something you’re interested in, you can also freeze your jelly!
Steps for Making Pomegranate Jelly
Okay, your jars are set up, you’re ready to get going.
- Measure out your sugar, juice, and pectin. Place a large pot on the stove and turn on your burner to medium high.
- Combine your juice and pectin in the pot and stir to dissolve. Bring to a rolling boil.
- Once at a rolling boil, begin adding in your sugar, stirring it in swiftly until all the sugar is added and dissolved.
- Continue stirring until the mixture has returned to a rolling boil.
- Once the mixture is at a rolling boil again, begin timing it. It is essential to not over or under cook the jelly to achieve the proper set. We cooked ours for exactly 2 1/2 minutes.
- Remove the jelly from the heat and carefully skim off the foam from the top (the jelly is HOT be careful!). This step is optional, but it makes for prettier jelly if you do it.
- Carefully ladle into jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace if canning, and 1/2 to 1 inch if freezing.
- Carefully wipe the rim to remove any drips of jelly and allow proper sealing.
- Using a towel or glove to protect your hand, carefully tighten down the seals and screw bands. If canning, submerge in the boiling canning pot of water for 10 minutes. If freezing, allow to cool before placing in the freezer.
- If canned, simply remove from water and allow to sit out on a towel to dry. Once the seals pop, they’re safe to be stored in your cupboard of up to 1 year, or in the fridge one month.
- Your jar is sealed when you can push on the lid without it clicking or moving, and there is a small indent in the middle.
Bonus Tip. The foam that happens during the second boil isn’t harmful nor will it affect flavor. You can skim it off by hand. BUT, it can also help to add 1 tsp of butter with the pectin and juice in the first boil. It reduces the foam and makes a lot less work of skimming later.
How to Freeze your Jelly
Unlike water bath canning your pomegranate jelly, freezing doesn’t take as much preparation. Simply pour your hot jelly into a freezer safe container (remember to leave enough head space for expansion! An inch is recommended), and allow the jelly to cool on the counter.
Once cool, seal the containers tightly and place in the freezer. They’ll live happily there for up to a year.
Enjoy your Pomegranate Jelly!
Look at that gorgeous, deep ruby pomegranate jelly. We usually eat the remnants from the bottom of the pan because it’s just too irresistible, just be careful not to burn your tongue!
There are tons of ways to use your pomegranate jelly.
- Filling cookies like Shortbread cookie sandwiches.
- Drizzling over cakes, short cakes, or ice creams
- Paired with vinegars and salt to glaze meats. Substitute jelly for the raspberries and sugar in my Raspberry Glazed Turkey Meatballs for example!
- And of course, the classic! Pair with Homemade Nut Butter and a nice bread for the best PB&J!
I sincerely hope you enjoy this homemade pomegranate jelly recipe. It’s a bit of fun twist on more traditional store bought flavors like grape and strawberry. It’s tart, sweet, and so pretty! Have fun making a batch of homemade jelly, and until next time, Happy Eating!
- 5 cups pomegranate juice, pure No sugar added if buying juice from store.
- 7 cups white sugar
- 1.75 ounces pectin, dry regular 1 packet
- 1 tsp butter, unsalted optional*
Wash four pint jars, screw bands, and seals (new), with warm soapy water and set on clean kitchen towel to dry. If water bath canning also set up a large pot with enough boiling water to cover mason jars by 1 inch.
If using fresh pomegranate seeds, crush in blender or food processor to release juice and strain through fine mesh sieve.
Combine pomegranate juice, pectin, and butter if using in a second pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.
Warm the clean jars by submerging in boiling water for a few minutes. Remove and turn onto clean towel again to dry.
When pomegranate mixture is boiling, add in sugar, stir to dissolve and continue stirring until it returns to a boil. Once boiling begin timing and cook for exactly 2 1/2 minutes.
Remove from heat and skim off any excess foam. (The foam is not harmful or inedible, just makes the jars slightly more attractive when removed.)
Ladle jelly into warm jars, leaving 1/4" of head space and wipe the rims clean. Using a kitchen towel to protect your hand place on seals and screw bands, tightening to hand tight.
Submerge closed jars into boiling water and leave for 10 minutes. Remove from water, let sit to seal, then store unopened jars in cupboard for up to 1 year. Once opened store in fridge for 1 month.
Yield 64 ounces of jelly, 4 pint jars.
Originally published 7/6/2019, updated 11/5/2019