Ten years ago, I participated in a week-long educational program sponsored by the Mardigian Institute at St. Vartan Cathedral in NYC. The program was designed to refresh and renew Sunday School teachers with teaching materials and strategies, and so much more. Men and women came from coast to coast – north and south… a most spiritual and uplifting experience.
My roommate, Patricia Tootikian-Hachigian from Detroit, had a background in Home Economics as did I. Discovering that we had so much in common, the two of us got along great! Sadly, we lost touch shortly after the program … until now.
|Pat Hachigian at St John Armenian Church, Detroit – her preserves, tourshi, and apron with logo
Pat emailed me recently. Here’s what she wrote:
“I met you at the Mardigian Institute in N.Y. and we were roommates. We had so much fun and were so alike with our home ec backgrounds.
… I plan to make tourshi for our church bazaar and I haven’t made it in about 15 years and I was searching the web for some additional recipes and I found you. I was so impressed with your website.
I made jams and jellies for our bazaar. I made pomegranate jelly last year and it was the first to sell out. I made 3 batches of it this year. I also tried a pomegranate blueberry juice following the same recipe and it came out perfect, too. ( Antioxidants are in both of these fruits.)”
Pat said her church (St. John Armenian Church, Detroit) had trouble getting preserves from Armenia to sell in the “country store” section of their bazaar, and that prompted her to make jams and jellies herself – donating every jar. (What a gal!) She said whatever doesn’t sell at the bazaar, goes to the church bookstore for sale. The woman in charge of the book store says the jams and jellies make perfect hostess gifts.
I wrote back immediately to say “Hello” and ask for the recipe. I figured I’d give jelly-making a try.
The recipe Pat uses for making Homemade Pomegranate Jelly comes from the Sure-Jell company.
|Robyn’s first-ever batch of pomegranate jelly
3-1/2 cups prepared pomegranate juice (or buy about 8 to 10 fully ripe pomegranates)
1 (yellow) box Sure-Jell
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
5 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
I used bottled pomegranate juice for my first-ever attempt at making jelly, saving a ton of time!
Be sure you have the proper canning equipment before you begin.
Pat said the recipe would make 5 – 1/2 pint jars. Mine yielded 6 – 1/2 pint jars.
1. Bring boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain jars well before filling.
2. Measure exactly 3-1/2 cups prepared pomegranate juice into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot.
If using fresh pomegranates, SUBMERGE pomegranates in water; let stand 15 min. Break pomegranates apart under water, then separate the seeds from the membranes. (Seeds will sink to bottom while membranes, skin and rind will rise to top.) Skim top and discard skin, rind and membranes. Scoop up seeds and drain. Crush seeds, one layer at a time. Place three layers of damp cheesecloth or jelly bag in large bowl. Pour prepared fruit into cheesecloth. Tie cheesecloth closed; hang and let drip into bowl until dripping stops. Press gently.
3. Stir pectin into juice in saucepot. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil an boil exactly 2 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
4. Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 5 min. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (If lids springs back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
Evaluation: For a first-time attempt, I was pleased with the results. The taste is sweet-tart, and a little goes along way!