I have always been a fan of pomegranates.
There is something very satisfying tearing into one and enjoying every last aril. And no matter how hard you try there is always that moment when you have red sticky juiced running down your arm.
Wanting to make some jelly without all the work that using fresh pomegranates would be I bought a small case of bottled pomegranate juice and grabbed some fresh hot peppers form work.
Making jelly is very easy. If you have never done any canning before this is a great way to get your feet wet.
It is important to use sterilized, hot jars and lids. The lids and screw bands go into a small pot of water which you big to a simmer to keep warm. Wash and dry your jars and place on a large baking rack and set in the oven at 225 degrees F for 10 minutes. Keep them warm until ready to fill. Or you can fill a canner with water and place your jars in the water and heat to 180 degrees F. A metal canning rack makes easy work of adding all the jars at once.
Pomegranate Peppery Jelly
5 cups of bottled pomegranate juice
1 box of Certo powdered pectin
7 cups of white sugar
peppers – chopped fine (I used semi hot peppers in this preparation)
1/2 teaspoon of butter
When handling hot peppers it is advisable to wear gloves if you have them, Hot pepper juices can burn your skin and eyes. Please use caution when handling all hot peppers. If you do not have gloves be sure to wash well with soap and water and be sure to not touch your eyes afterwards. No matter how well you wash, there will still be hot pepper oils on your skin.
Also as side note: I add a 1/2 teaspoon of butter to all my jellies to prevent bubbly scum from forming from the boiling process. I rarely have to skim my jellies any more. I add this after the first boil. You will need a large canner to process the full jars of jelly.
Have it filled with 3 – 4 inches of warm water and place on a burner to heat while you are making the jelly. Add the peppers to a food processor or blender. Chop until fine. You may need to add a cup of the juice just to help it along.
Pour the juice into a large saucepan. add the package of pectin crystals and stir well to dissolve. Over medium high heat bring to a boil. Add all the sugar and stir well to dissolve. Add the butter. Bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring often.
Once it come to a full rolling boil start timing for one minute. This is stress free if you have used a large enough pot. So pick a nice large one before starting. After one minute at a full boil remove from the heat and place on a hot mat. Using a ladle fill the hot jars with jelly leaving a 1/4 inch head space. I usually fill and lid 3 jars at a time. Clean the rim of the jars off with a nice clean wet cloth. Place a hot lid on the jar, then apply a screw band, only until finger tight.
Once all jars are full place then in the canner. Cover the jars with hot water by an inch. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling cover the canner and time for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the water and place on a rack or tea towel on the counter. Allow to cool completely.
The lids will make a ping/popping noise when it seals. This is the sounds that warms home canners hearts around the world!
Congratulations! That was easier then you thought! There is just the perfect amount of heat here, a touch of warmth which pairs well with cream cheese.
Of course if you are looking for a strong kick of heat you could use habanero peppers in place of the chilies I used. As a guide, the smaller the pepper the hotter it is. I would also think about melting down a few jars in a small pot and using the jelly on a pork loin or even a batch of wings!.