When I was a child, my maternal grandmother was my only living grandparent. The others had passed long before I was even born, so she filled that spot for all of them. To be honest, she wasn’t overly domestic, her kitchen didn’t smell like cookies, but instead carried the faint aroma of cigarette smoke from her Virginia Slims she used to smoke under the oven hood when we weren’t looking.
But she loved us, my sister and me… oh she loved us so good. She always tried to make our time together special; whether it was keeping Little Debbie treats in the cupboard for when we came over, or playing Rummikub with us as long as we’d like.
I also remember that every November when the little pomegranate tree on my dad’s property would become fat with red orbs, she would ask him if she could come pick some pomegranates. With those ruby red arils she would make little jars of what felt like the most delicious jelly I had ever tasted. We would eat it on thin slices of wheat toast anytime we would visit her, and it became something I really looked forward to. And so as a nod to my sweet grandma who passed away two years ago, I bought a crate of pomegranates from Azure Standard this month, and went to work canning some jars of jelly.
I also decided what a wonderful gift it would be if I accompanied said jelly with a warm loaf of homemade SOURDOUGH. A delicious and treasured handmade gift for giving to those you love! I’ve also included some printable labels you can download and print to stick on your jars, as well as links for the linen gingham fabric and ribbon I used to dress up the jars for gifting.
I know canning can sound very intimidating, trust me, I get it, and am still learning a ton, but I’ve made this tutorial so easy and straight forward, that I know you’ll be able to do it! If I can do it, you can do it 😉. Here’s how we made the jelly…
Start by removing the arils from the pomegranates. The easiest method for this is to get a big bowl of water, cut the fruits in half, then submerge them while cracking them open even further and removing the arils. The arils will sink, while the white bits will float and then I just skim them from the top of the water using a small mesh strainer.
- 4 cups pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 packet pectin
- 4 cups sugar
- Once you remove all the seeds from the pomegranate, blend them in a food processor and then push through a mesh wire strainer to remove the seeds. Add the juice, lemon juice, and pectin in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Keep stirring to avoid scorching. Once you cannot stir the boil down, add the sugar, and keep cooking/stirring while it boils hard for two minutes. Turn off, skim off any foam, and pour into sanitized jars. To sanitize the jars, boil them and the lids (covered in water) for at least 5 minutes. Pour jelly into jars, screw lids on tight and refrigerate. Note: these are not shelf stable at this point… if you want to actually "can" the jelly and make it shelf stable, you will need to place the jars in a large pot, cover with water, make sure they are not resting on the bottom of the pot – you will need a canning rack for this – and then boil for 5 minutes.
Below you can find the download link for the printable labels (they are 2×4), and the fabric I bought can be found HERE.