Tag Archives: pomegranate

Pomegranate Jelly

One of my favorite things that I planted at our house in California was the pomegranate tree. It really liked the weather there and grew quickly. Last year we had just over 50 pomegranates off the tree. We made a variety of things with those to see what they were like; the favorite of everybody though was pomegranate jelly.

I only made six jars of the jelly and they were gone in a couple months. Since we had moved from that house I figured I would not be able to make that jelly again this year.

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Thankfully, my job sent me to the house of an older lady with an overloaded pomegranate tree. Most of the fruit had split already and was attracting bugs. I was able to get several grocery bags full though.

My wife, oldest two sons and I removed the arils from the skin. We got enough to fill a large bowl.

The next step is to remove the juice from the arils. Pomegranates are pretty crunchy because there are a lot of seeds; I don’t like the jelly to be crunchy.

Even though the fruit has a skin I always rinse the insides before using them. Sometimes the skin has little cracks that allow bugs in. I don’t think a gnat or fruit fly floating in the jelly would make my wife happy.

My basic technique to remove the juice is to put some of the arils in the blender, and pulse them until they mostly appear broken.  Then I dump them in a sieve over a large bowl, and push out the juice.

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Pomegranate harvest!

At our old house in San Diego, we had a pomegranate tree that we loved. Of course, when we moved here, we lost out on our annual supply of pomegranates, though Josh does plan on planting a pomegranate tree here when he has a chance to clear an area for fruit trees (apple trees! There should be enough freeze hours here).

Josh’s job takes him to a lot of houses and last week, he came home with four grocery bags full of pomegranates! What a treasure! One of his clients had a 50-year-old pomegranate tree in her yard. The fruit was splitting on the tree and Josh mentioned he liked to make pomegranate jelly. The client said he could take all of the fruit that hadn’t split because she doesn’t use them anymore.

So Josh came home with a bunch of ripe pomegranates that we needed to seed right away.

It took us about an hour and a half and we made a big mess, but we ended up with a huge bowl of pomegranate arils!

Our plans for this bowl of pomegranate arils? As many jars of pomegranate jelly as Josh can make! Because they go really quick with our family.

-Lynn

Pomegranate Harvest

Today while I was feeding the chickens, I noticed that we had a pomegranate split while on the tree. That is usually how I know they are ripe enough to pick.

I had a lot going on today, but I was able to quickly run out and pick them all.

We ended up with 56 pomegranates this year. I believe we had around 20 last year.

Many of them are quite large. I had my nine year old hold a couple near his head to see the size of them.

We have already juiced some of them to use in baking. We are going to make white cupcakes with pomegranate Buttercream frosting and chocolate Bundt cake with pomegranate juice in it.

Pomegranates are very messy when being juiced, and now parts of our kitchen looks like someone has been bleeding there.

We will try to get some cupcake pictures posted later.

-Joshua

Pomegranate Curd

We had about half a bottle of pomegranate juice left in the fridge. Instead of just drinking it, what did I want to do with it instead?

It’s a little bit crazy, but I wanted to make pomegranate curd!

Of course, I googled it and found a recipe that looked like it would work for me at A Cookie Named Desire. There is something about a blog that has really beautiful pictures that I just love. Right now, I’m afraid my pictures won’t be very pretty, but they do help a post to be interesting! I’m also one of those people who likes to know what my ingredients are supposed to look like while I’m working through a recipe. Even a few pictures of the process helps me with that.

(Quick Note: I’ve found though, that in Dorie Greenspan’s cookbooks I don’t need any pictures. She describes her recipe methods so well and so concisely that it is very clear what your ingredients will look like after each step. I love her cookbooks so much. I think eventually I will buy them all!)

Pomegranate Curd Recipe

I used POM juice since that is what we had in the fridge. We also happened to have pomegranates in the fridge, but pomegranates are so difficult to juice (much like passionfruit) that we tend to use our pomegranates for eating or cooking.

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The method is similar to when making lemon curd. I’m still a bit of a novice at making any curd, so I still had to push mine through a sieve when it was done.

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This curd took a little bit longer than I expected to thicken. It’s so crazy how quickly it happens though! One second you feel like you’re stirring juice and the next you’re pulling it off the flame and hoping you didn’t ruin it!

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I actually don’t think the color is that appetizing, but boy, does this curd taste yummy! I’m not sure what I could have done to “brighten” the color any. It almost looks like the brownish side of burgundy.

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This recipe made a one pint jar of pomegranate curd. We have used it on scones, biscuits, and pancakes. We still have a little bit left, and I am hoping to use it as a filling in lavender macarons.

-Lynn

 

Saturday in the Garden: 02/13/2016

Today I spent quite most of the day working in the garden.  Most of my day was building another raised garden bed.  It the last of the beds that I plan to build for this growing season.  Rather then build two small beds, I built one large bed.  It is 15 feet long and just over 4 feet wide.  Like the other beds it is built out of concrete block because that is the best combination of price and durability for me.

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Starting to put dirt in place to level the area where the bed is going.

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A big stack of blocks

I am pleased with how this bed turned out.  It isn’t totally straight, but it is much better then my last attempt.  The large wood pieces in the bed are rotten tree stumps that were at the house when we bought it.  I am going to break them up and line the bottom of the bed with the pieces of wood.  Eventually, they will decompose and provide nutrients to the plants in the bed.

I also took a few pictures of the yard, and I had Lynn take some for me with her nicer camera.

I was suprised at how much my cabbage and kale seedlings look alike.  I think the one on the left is cabbage and the other is kale.  Now I don’t remember which pictures is which and can’t tell the difference.

 

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My Tom Thumb Pea seedlings are sprouting nicely

 

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Our little Almond tree has begun to flower

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Onion flowers

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The pomegranate tree is begining to leaf out

The plants are really starting to grow.  Our weather has been unseasonably warm with several days in the low to mid 90s.  All that warm weather has made for some very happy plants, and I can’t wait to see how they grow and eat the food that comes from them.

 

-Joshua

 

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