Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's that time of year again! Can you believe it?

POMEGRANATE JELLY TIME!

You start with a hearty meal of Scottish Oatmeal, covered in brown sugar, of coarse!
Let the fun begin!
Ingredients:
4 Cups Pomegranate Juice
7 1/2 Cups sugar
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 Pouches Certo Liquid Pectin(comes in one box)
1/2 teaspoon butter

Now, you can get the pomegranates juice them by removing the seeds. To remove the seeds-cut out the blossom end, remove some of the white pith, but do not break the red pulp around the seeds. Score the skin into quarters. Break the pomegranate into halves then half again. Following the score lines, remove seeds. Place seeds only in the juicer. Strain juice through several layers of wet cheesecloth. You can freeze seeds or juice until you are ready to make jelly.
With that said, it is much better if someone can juice them for you! (believe me, you'll understand once you try the above method!) I get my juice from a local grove by the gallon. A gallon makes 4 batches of jelly and depending on the size of jar you are using or need to use, it makes a lot of jelly for holiday give-a-ways! One batch makes about 4-16 ounce jars, or 8-8ounce jars. Less or more depending on the size of jar. I recently found 4 ounce jars and had 16 of those made! If you live in my area you can go to Grangeville and 9 1/4 Avenue. If he is not there, his phone number is 559-584-4510. The gallon price this year is $15.00.
When you think you have an hour or so to make a batch of jelly, take the jars you plan to use and inspect them for any chips or cracks. Do not use any jars that are not perfect! Chips along the rim, make it impossible for the lids to seal properly. I put the jars into the dish washer and run them through a cycle. I also put the rims in the dish washer but not the lids. You can start making the jelly when the cycle gets to the drying stage. You want the jars hot and clean when the jelly is done. If you have trouble timing this, you can keep putting the cycle back on dry to keep them hot.
While the jars are drying in the dish washer, put the pomegranate and lemon juice into a 6 or 8 quart sauce pot. (bigger the better, I say).

Have a big pot ready for a boiling water bath, if your lids do not seem to seal properly. And put the lids into a pot of boiling water (back pot). What I do is boil some water in my electric kettle then pour it over the top of the lids. Then have the stove on the lowest temp to keep them hot but not boiling. You don't want the lids to be boiling!

Turn the juices on the highest temperature. Add the sugar! All amounts must be exact. Do not substitute things for the sugar. If you did not have enough juice, you can add up to a 1/2 cup water or another juice to make the 4 cups. (sometimes when I get to the last batch, there is not a complete 4 cups, so I usually add cranberry juice to make up the difference, they are close in flavor) From this point on, you need to be stirring pretty constantly!

Don't forget your lids need to be hot and not boiling!

Have your pouches of pectin open and setting up in a glass for quick addition at the right time. You will not have time to open them when the correct time comes!

After the sugar is dissolved, add the butter. The butter is to help with foaming. It doesn't look like it is helping very much, but trust me, it will.

Remember your lids are being kept hot and not boiling and you are trying to get a water bath boiling!
All of this is done while you are stirring constantly. You want to have the sugar/juices come to a full rolling boil, which is a boil that does not stop when stirred. (this was a feat to take a picture while stirring!)
At the point when it has reached the full rolling boil, you add the pectin. I couldn't get a picture of that, not enough hands!
Return the jelly to a full roiling boil and boil hard for exactly one minute!

When the minute is up, remove from heat and let the fun begin!

As you can see, the foam goes way down!

Skim the foam off with a metal spoon.

The 'ove' glove is a real must or something equivalent because everything is HOT!

Open the dishwasher (which is still on the drying cycle) and take out one jar, close the dishwasher to keep everything else hot.

Ladle the jelly into the hot jars. This special jelly funnel is perfect for this job! You can find it here.
Have a few wet lint less cloths ready to wipe the edges and rims of the jars.

Wipe the rims and rungs of the jars so there is no jelly on them. They must be clean or you won't get a good seal.

This little magnate tool is great! The water is near boiling, remember? You need to get the lid out and quickly dry it off and put it on the jars without letting it cool too much.

Then take the bands out of the dishwasher one two at a time. Screw them on the jars TIGHT! Do not re-tighten them at any point now.
At this part, you can turn the jars upside down for 5 minutes then back right side up. Let them sit until they cool down. If, at such time (when cool) you press down on the center of the lid and if it springs back, it did not seal properly. he problem with this is that you will have to do a water bath or refrigerate the jelly. It will not be safe to store for any length of time. If you want to be sure, you do the water bath.

You may be able to use a pot you have that is big enough to place the jars inside with water covering up to 2 inches above the top. Or you can buy a canning pot that is designed for this purpose. That is what I have. Set the jars into the metal rack that goes into the pot of boiling water. (remember it has been boiling on the stove)
Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes


This little thing is very handy at getting the jars out after the 5 minutes (that and the 'ove' glove) Put the jars in an out of the way place and let them cool for 24 hours before you touch them. You can check when cool to see if they sealed by pushing down on the center of the lid and see if it pops back. I doubt it will if you did the water bath. You will hear popping while they cool, that is completely normal and good because it means the jars are sealing. After 24 hours you can take the band off and store the jelly in a cool dark place for up to one year.
One batch down 3 more to go!

5 comments:

Lucky Luke said...

Yum! I betthat makes a GREAT birthday present!

Welcome to my blog! said...

Sure; Lucky Luke! Is your birthday coming up? Even if it isn't you can have some! Thanks for saying you were Lucky Luke! Love ya!

Marti said...

I'm promise to be much more appreciative now that I know how much trouble it is for you to make the famous Pamegranite Jelly!!

This is something we look forward to every year.

Love you MORE!!
Marti

Anonymous said...

Can I use Splenda instead of regular sugar? My husband can't have too much sugar. Thank you. Esther

It's no bad thing to celebrate a simple life! (Bilbo Baggns) said...

Hi Esther. I have never tried it using splenda. I found a site that said they make it with splenda. Here's the link http://mideastfood.about.com/od/dessertssweetspastries/r/splendapomegr.htm
I would be interested In hearing how it turns out! Thanks for the comment!