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Pomegranates are one of my favorite childhood flavors. My great grandparents had a huge tree and every year we’d help them gather them, and 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 favorite, and a great way to preserve my favorite flavors all year long.
What is Jelly?
I have an admission to make. As a child I couldn’t stand jelly! My mom made so many different types of things, jams, jellies, fruit butters. But the texture of jelly threw me off. Jell-O was also not a favorite of mine.
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.
Thankfully, as an adult my tastes have matured and my looong childhood list of ‘NO’ foods has grown remarkably small. Jelly is now a favorite of mine, in a huge variety of applications, and this particular homemade pomegranate jelly recipe is definitely high on my list of preferred flavors.
Making Pomegranate Jelly
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 fruits simply don’t contain enough natural pectin to make a jelly. Unlike jams and other forms of preservation, only the juice is used to make jelly. Most natural pectin is contained in the skin and seeds or core of fruits.
Even the fruits that DO contain enough natural pectin, utilizing it requires cooking 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.
That being said, if you don’t want to pay the outrageous store prices for the amount of pomegranates needed for this recipe, please use the prepared pomegranate juice in the beverage section.
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.
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.
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 can 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.
Measure out sugar, pectin and juice. Place another large pot on the stove and get ready to cook.
Before you get started a Bonus Tip. You’ll notice that the jelly will foam when you add the sugar in the second boil. While it’s not harmful, nor will it affect flavor, it does make the jelly look a little less pretty. You can skim the foam off before canning, we always do.
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.
Cooking the Jelly
To begin combine the pectin and juice in the large pot over medium high heat. Bring to a rolling boil then add in the sugar. Stir swiftly to dissolve and continue stirring until the mixture returns to a rolling boil.
The moment the jelly comes to a boil begin timing it. It’s essential you do not under cook or over cook the jelly to achieve that idea set.
We cook our jelly for 2 1/2 minutes to set it the way you like. Most pectin will say 2 minutes for jelly, but experience has told us 2 1/2 minutes.
Remove the jelly from the heat and carefully skim off any foam (optional). Ladle into warm jars leaving 1/4″ of space from rim (if freezing instead, leave closer to 1/2 to 1 inch for expansion). Wipe the rims carefully of any excess jelly to allow proper sealing. Screw on the lids using a towel to protect your hand from the hot jars. Using jar clamps carefully submerge into the boiling water for 10 minutes.
Remove from water and set of dish towel. Once sealed they can be store in a cupboard for 1 year. They can also be frozen up to one year, but once opened can last 1 month in the fridge. 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.
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.