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Pomegranate Jam

You really didn’t think I was done with pomegranates, did you? I am amazed to hear how scarce this amazing fruit is in other parts of the world. A Turkish reader living in Germany said a pomegranate costs 2 Euros there!!! I am so lucky to be living in a city abundant with pomegranates. Did you know that pomegranates have more antioxidant power than cranberry juice or green tea?

Nowadays, I see pomegranates everywhere I turn. I juice two giant pomegranates every other day and drink it in the morning.  You already know I fixed my ice cream craving a couple of weeks ago. So, now what? Since pomegranates will not be around after a month or so, I preserved.

To tell you the truth, even tough Turkey is one of the native lands of this precious fruit, I have never heard of pomegranate jam or came across it in a jar in a supermarket aisle before. So I wondered, why don’t we choose to preserve pomegranates? Don’t they deserve to be bathed in sugar just like any other fruit? I still don’t know.

But there is one thing I’m sure of: I will be preserving pomegranates for the rest of my life. The result was fantastic. So much so that I now claim this jam to be the most delicious jam that I’ve ever tasted. It is even better than the cherry jam my friend’s mom prepares that smells like chocolate (weird, but I swear it does).

I recommend using the seeds from one pomegranate and juicing the rest. The seeds are somewhat distracting to me and I certainly don’t want many of those on my buttered bread.

I’ve only used freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice and sugar (with the addition of lemon juice at the end), so it takes a while for the jam to reach the desired consistency. At the end of an hour, you can do the plate test, which is basically dropping a spoonful of jam on a chilled plate and examining the consistency after you tilt the plate a bit. If the jam stays in a mound and not run, your jam is done. Enjoy.

POMEGRANATE JAM

Ingredients

Yields 3-4 cups

  • 3+1/2 cups freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice*
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 large pomegranate)*
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Juice of a lemon

* You would need 5.5 pounds of pomegranates for 3+1/2 cups of juice and 1 cup of seeds.

Method

  1. Chill a small plate for testing the consistency of the jam later on.
  2. Remove the seeds from one pomegranate and juice the rest. I advise not to use a juice press as the liquid from the seeds and membrane would result in a bitter taste. Here’s how I do it: Place a large bowl under the sink (for easy wash up), cut the pomegranates in half and while squeezing the pomegranate with one hand, press with your fingers inside the pomegranate with the other hand (the cut side will face the bowl) and extract as much juice as possible.
  3. Combine pomegranate juice and sugar in a large pot over moderate heat. Stir frequently until the sugar dissolves, turn the heat to medium high and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
  4. Skim off the pink foam as necessary.
  5. Add the pomegranate seeds and lemon juice and cook for another 10 minutes, then check for consistency by dropping a spoonful of jam on a chilled plate. When you tilt the plate, if it stays in a mound and not run, your jam is done. If it is still runny continue cooking and perform the test every 5 minutes (it always takes me an hour in total).
  6. Fill your sterilized jars with the jam and store it in your refrigerator.