Monday, February 25, 2013

What to do with too many pomegranates

I don’t always talk about motorcycles, nope, sometimes I can also talk about food.
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a lot of pomegranates. They weren’t storefront pretty anymore, but they were totally edible and cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap.  Not wanting to bite off more than I could chew – I bought 6.

I promptly forgot about them for a week and had to throw one out – so I started off with 5 no-so-pretty fruits. Since no one eats the outside of a pomegranate, it didn’t bother me they had a few brown spots. All I cared about was the ruby red pips filled with tart juice.

My method of getting the pips out involves cutting the fruit in half, sticking it in a bowl of warm water and tearing it apart. Its fast, fun and somewhat therapeutic after a long day. The outer pith floats in water while the pips sink to the bottom of the bowl. Easy sorting!

I pour the fruits into a pasta pot and heat them to a low simmer for 10 minutes.

During those 10 minutes I rinse out and heat up some canning jars, lids, and rings. I have a collection of various sized canning jars gleaned from older friends and thrift shops. I like to boil them and keep them on their own special shelf in my pantry. A pantry is a blessing, especially for canning.

Since no one I know goes through jugs of grenadine, I used 1/2 cup jars.

After the jars, lids, and rings have been laid out on a clean cloth to air dry. Turn off the juice, strain out the seeds. You can strain the seeds into some sackcloth and squeeze out the last drops if you like.

Straining little bits of pith off the top: 

Return the liquid to the stove and bring back to simmer. Add ½ cup sugar and 1tsp lemon juice for every two cups of liquid.

Cut the heat, and carefully funnel into the waiting jars. Fill to the ring line, leaving about ¼” of space. In order to seal properly, before you put the lids on make sure that there’s no juice spatter sitting on the lip of the jar.

Lid up!

Time for a bath! You should follow the food safety instructions for your particular jar size – but I set mine for 10-15 minutes.

 Finished jars of delicious garnet liquid:

A spoonful of this garnet liquid over ginger ale and ice finished with a twist of lime is the perfect pick-me-up after a long day. You can also use this anywhere you might use liquid sugar or agave syrup. Try it in a vanilla bean or strawberry cupcake recipe!

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