Pomegranates are in the market right now, and this syrup would make a great gift for yourself or someone special. I love poms, they last long in the fruit bins of my fridge, and they’re sassy and good for you! But right now they’re everywhere. They’re just a little annoying to work with at times . . .unless you use the water trick.
This recipe makes syrup and jelly. The syrup is also known as grenadine, and used to flavor drinks. If you go to the store to buy grenadine it’s probably mostly corn syrup. How nice to have something homemade with real pomegranate juice and cane syrup . . .To make the jelly, just keep simmering the syrup until you reach the jell point.
The ingredients are simple, and the recipe is foolproof. It practically makes itself. Just be patient.
Open pomegranate by scoring outside skin all the way, but not cutting into seeds. Then pry open and pull apart into halves.
Fill a bowl with cold water. Holding pomegranate half upside down, break into smaller chunks, letting seeds fall into water. Brush seeds gently into water from each chunk. The seeds should sink, any pithy material should float.
Pour off the pithy stuff that will make your syrup bitter, and then strain the seeds into a glass measure. You need about 6 cups of seeds.
Place pomegranate seeds in a large glass or stainless steel bowl, and pour 3 1/4 cups sugar over all. Stir to mix sugar, and press down with spoon to let seeds begin to release their juice. Then let sit 8 hours or so — all day or overnight.
You’ll notice that the sugar will dissolve into juice as it draws it from the seeds. Strain juice from the seeds. You may press on the seeds, but you don’t want the hard seed centers in your syrup, so don’t worry about getting every last bit. The sugar and time will do most of the work for you.
Pour syrup into a pan. Add 2 tablespoons of fresh strained lemon juice.
Bring to a simmer and let boil gently for about 10 minutes until juice thickens somewhat but is not sheeting.
Then turn off heat, pour through funnel into hot sterilized half pint canning jars or syrup jars, put on lids and process in a hot water bath canner for 10 minutes at sea level, 15 minutes at 5000 feet. For pints, add 5 minutes to the processing time. This should make about 5 half-pints.
If you’re thinking of jelly, continue to cook until mixture sheets, then pour into hot sterilized jars and process the same as above.
I made this in a triple batch (it worked fine, yielded 10 half pints of syrup, and then 4 half pints of jelly.)
Single batch recipe — makes about 5 cups.
6 cups of pomegranate seeds — 3-5 extra large pomegranates
3 1/4 cups of sugar
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice