Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pomegranate jelly: The cheater version

Last weekend at Sophie's school's winter art fair, the main attraction our table were these excellent gift tags that Sophie made featuring little characters made from fingerprints.

Figuring that one can always use gift tags, I was prepared to secretly buy some of her stock if they didn't sell (I'm not proud), but half way through the fair, I turned around and they were gone. Oh, well. I enlisted her assistance to help me sell my wares.

I had some some quince paste (really good—I infuse it with rose geranium from my garden, giving it an even more pronounced floral note), and I still have most of it. Most people fall into one of two categories: They do not know what quince paste is and have never heard of manchego cheese or they have heard of quince paste and make it themselves. I'm not complaining. I have a couple of hostesses who will appreciate this as a gift.

I also sold pepper jelly, which people enjoyed sampling while Sophie explained that it is very good on baguette slice with a little goat cheese.

But the item that sold out most quickly was my pomegranate jelly. No surprise—it's a lovely color, and anyone who has had pomegranate jelly appreciates its tangy yet sweet taste.

My version is the ultimate cheater one. The first time I made it was before pomegranate juice became all the antioxidant rage, and I juiced about twenty pomegranates in our giant Acme juicer. The kitchen looked like a crime scene: Red splatters everywhere. A big mess and quite time consuming. AND the juice I ended up with had a slightly bitter taste, probably because it includes some juice from the membranes. Bottled juice (conveniently available at Trader Joe's) makes this a quick, easy recipe.

4 cups of pomegranate juice
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin
5 cups white sugar

6 to 7 eight-ounce canning jars

Combine pomegranate and lemon juice in a 6-quart pan. Stir in pectin and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Reach a full boil that cannot be stirred down and add sugar. Boil hard for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for a minute or two.

Fill jars to 1/2 inch of top, wipe rims clean, and screw on lids. Refrigerate until use or process in hot water for 5 minutes.
I make my own labels by printing a nice font (this one is Blackadder) on cream colored paper (I use our old office stationery from before our rebranding), stamping with gold ink, cutting to size, and attaching with a glue stick. My pal Trevor used the Courier font, and I think it looks nice too. The labels wash off easily too, should someone be presumptuous enough wash and return a glass thinking they might receive more (they probably would).


Kristin said...

Sophie's tags are adorable. And the pomegranate jelly sounds wonderful. Wish I had some of that quince paste to take to a party Sunday, but I guess I can make fig jam & get some sharp cheese.

Kate said...

Want to swap some Pom jelly for some of my Rhubarb Chutney?

Trevor said...

Well Ms. Fig, I would hardly call that cheating! I have yet to make this but it is on my 'to do' list. Kate! I'll trade! Me loves Rhubarb in ALL its forms!

Trevor said...

Its really no more a cheat than using canned chicken stock and if that is a cheat then I cheat a LOT!

Anonymous said...

*raises hand*

What's quince paste?

adozeneggs said...

I think Sophie's cards are GENIUS!!
AND I saw something very similar on some artsy card website selling for a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

Sophie's gift cards take me back to my childhood. I loved making animals out of my fingerprints!

Your blog is always full of great recipes. Thanks for sharing the pomegranate jelly recipe!