Pomegranates (granadas) in Texas can be traced to the early Spanish Missions. They do well in our hot dry climate and tolerate the alkaline soil. I find that my pomegranate bushes do well without much additional water, even in a drought. The trees can be planted from seed, cuttings, or purchased from a nursery. The plant can be trained as a tree or a bush. I love looking at a ripe pomegranate tree ripe with fruit because it reminds me of red glass balls on a Christmas tree. I pick the fruit as soon as the pulp inside turns bright red. Obviously one can’t tell this from the outside. Often the ripest ones start splitting open on their own. Some varieties ripen much sooner than others. The fruit tastes tart and fresh as we eat the seeds. As a jelly making material it may be a bit tedious making the juice but the final product is a tasty refreshing tart jelly. I was thrilled the first time I got to make jelly from this fruit. I am not a big fan of eating the fruit raw but I love the tart jelly this fruit makes possible.
You will need 12-16 fruit (depending on size). Each fruit consists of hundreds of white/red seeds covered with pulp. It is the pulp you are wanting but you need to remove the seeds first. Cut your fruit apart and submerge the fruit in bowl of water while you release the seeds into the bowl. This will allow the white membrane to float to the top. Discard the membranes. At this point you have several options. One you can collect all the seeds and freeze them for later juice extraction. One advantage to this is that freezing releases more of the juice of the seed. Or you can put them into your blender or juicer to remove the juice. Another alternative is to cover them in a saucepan with water and simmer the pomegranate seeds long enough to release the juice. I remove them from the stove and crush them with a potato masher.
Whatever method you use to remove the fruit juice you will then need to put the results through your cheesecloth.
You will then cook the juice, lemon juice, and sugar. Bring to a hard boil and then add the pectin. Remove, place into freezer containers, cool, then freeze. don’t forget to label with the jelly name and the date. There is nothing worse than bringing out a jelly and not remembering what jelly you froze.
4 cups pomegranate juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 pkg No sugar-needed fruit pectin