As the crisp fall weather starts to arrive, it also brings the end of canning season! After months of hard work preserving the harvest of summer, you are rewarded with beautiful shelves full of incredible canned goods you’ll be able to enjoy all year long. What a gift you have given yourself!
But don’t put away your canner yet! Autumn brings its own collection of incredible harvests to preserve. Few fruits are more closely tied to fall weather than the glorious pomegranate! Pomegranate season starts in early fall, and the bright colorful fruits are wonderful for fresh eating, but they also make a beautiful jelly that is delicious on toast or perfect for holiday gift giving. Let’s make some jelly!
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Is pomegranate jelly made from pomegranate juice?
Sure is! The difference between a jelly and a jam is the preparation of the fruit before making the preserves. For jelly, you use fruit juice. For fruit jam, you use mashed fruit or fruit purée. Since we’re making a pomegranate jelly, you’ll want to use pomegranate juice for this recipe.
You can make your own pomegranate juice or you can save yourself some time and use bottled pomegranate juice purchased from the store.
How do I make pomegranate juice from fresh pomegranates?
If you have the hook-up for fresh pomegranates near you, you can easily make this recipe by juicing the whole fruit. Here’s how:
- Firmly roll room-temperature fruit on a countertop, pressing to soften without breaking the skin.
- Holding the pomegranate over a fine sieve set over a bowl, use a sharp knife to cut out the blossom end (crown), including the pith.
- Juice will begin to spurt out as soon as you puncture the skin. Using your hands, squeeze juice and seeds into the sieve.
- Open the fruit and use a small spoon to scrape the remaining seeds into the sieve. Use the back of a large spoon to press out any remaining juice from the seeds.
- You can filter the mixture again through cheesecloth if the juice doesn’t seem clear.
You’ll need 7 to 10 large pomegranates to make enough juice (3 1/2 cups) for this jelly recipe.
What ingredients do you need to make pomegranate jelly?
Like most jelly recipes, this pomegranate jelly recipe is supremely simple. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- Pomegranate juice—Either freshly squeezed or bottled pomegranate juice will work.
- Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin—Pomegranates are a low-pectin fruit, meaning you’ll need to add powdered pectin in order to get the jelly to gel properly.
- Butter, optional—This helps cut back on any foaming that may happen during the boiling process.
- Sugar—You’re looking for regular granulated sugar or granulated cane sugar here. This recipe has not been tested for safety with any alternative sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or stevia.
Pomegranates have a pH of right around 3.0, making them safe for water bath canning without the need to add more acid in the form of lemon juice or citric acid.
What are the best jars for canning jelly?
Our favorite jars for canning this pomegranate jelly are…wait for it…jelly jars! We put up our jelly in Ball® 8oz. Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars. Any eight ounce jar will do the trick!
How do you make pomegranate jelly?
Pomegranate jelly is a great beginner’s canning recipe! It’s nearly fool-proof and can be done start-to-finish in less than an hour. Here’s how:
- Prepare jars, water bath canner, lids, and screw bands per our Canning 101 guide or the printable recipe below. Prepare your pomegranate juice. Measure out 3 1/2 cups, then pour pomegranate juice into a large pot.
- Gradually stir in pectin. Add butter or margarine to reduce foaming, if desired.
- Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down over high heat, stirring constantly.
- Add the entire batch of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and skim off foam if necessary.
- Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
- Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when the center is pressed.
What are some good ways to use a jar of pomegranate jelly?
Don’t just reserve this jelly for good PB&J (although definitely do that, too). Here are some other ways to enjoy this jelly:
- Of course, pomegranate jelly is a shining star on top of toast, English muffins, or biscuits.
- It’s also wonderful stirred into a bowl of homemade yogurt.
- Slather it on top of pancakes or waffles.
- Bake it into thumbprint cookies!
- Use this jelly in place of grape jelly in our Sweet and Sour Meatballs recipe for a great change of pace.
- Stir it into hot oatmeal or overnight oats to add sweetness and flavor.
- Mix it with your favorite liquor and some seltzer water to make a pomegranate-flavored cocktail.