Pomegranate Linzer Cookies

Traditional jam-filled Linzer cookies for Christmas.  I make them with homemade pomegranate jelly but usually they are made with raspberry jam and almond flour.  Wilton makes a Linzer cutter and you can find the traditional recipe on the back of the packaging.  One more thing to note: Cookies are usually baked and then jelly added between the sandwich.  I like to add the jelly first and then bake.

Pomegranate Linzer Cookies

1 cup shorteningimg_4491
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
3 Tbsp. whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour, sifted
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup of pomegranate jelly
Powdered sugar

In your mixer combine shortening and sugars until creamy.  On slow speed mix in egg yolks, milk, and vanilla and set aside.  In another bowl sift together all dry ingredients and then combine with your shortening and sugar mixture.  Chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Thinly roll out dough on a well-floured surface to about 1/8 of an inch.  Cut out cookies using your fluted cookie cutter.  In half of your cookie squares, cut out a small hole in the center.  Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of jelly onto each whole cookie.  Top with the cut-out cookie and gently press edges together.

Bake on parchment paper or an ungreased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Makes approx. 3 dozen cookies.

 


Pomegranate Hard Candy

Our little pomegranate tree put out almost two gallons of juice this year. This does not include the poms we left on the tree for the birds. After 40 jars of pomegranate jelly we were left with about three cups of juice. Bring on the candy!pomegranate candy

Pomegranate Hard Candy

1 cup pomegranate juice
2/3 cup corn syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting

1. Put all ingredients into a large heavy-bottomed pot. Turn on high heat and stir until all sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil (without stirring) and let it boil until it reaches 290° – hard crack candy stage. Watch closely and you may even want to reduce heat when you are close to 290°. Immediately remove when it reaches temperature.
2. Pour onto a marble surface or alternatively, a lightly sprayed  jelly roll pan. Immediately score with knife or pizza cutter into 1-inch pieces. When cooled, break into squares.pomegranate
3. Dust with powdered sugar by placing sugar and candy into a bowl and stir or large Ziplock and shake. Use a kitchen (paint) brush to brush off excess powdered sugar to give a more professional look.
4. Store in sealed jars.
Things I learned:
– Don’t use cooking spray if you pour onto marble. It makes the candy oily to the touch and affected the powdered sugar coating. I didn’t try the baking sheets.
Immediately remove when it reaches temperature because if you leave it on too long, it will turn from red to brown quickly. Don’t fret if it browns; it still tastes good, but the color changes and the candy looks like broken beer bottle glass instead of deep red pomegranate glass.
-Keep stored in sealed jars (I prefer small mason jars) because if you just put it in a bowl on your counter, then I guarantee you will have a giant hunk of candy that will be nearly impossible to chip off a piece. 😉

Puttin’ up poms – Pomegranate Jelly

This was a good year for our little pomegranate tree.

It was also a good year for the birds that discovered the little pomegranate tree.

Thankfully I was able to steal away from the birds enough pomegranates for a few batches of jelly.

I usually use  a simple recipe from a lovely book called, The Glass Pantryby Georgeanne Brennan. This book would make a wonderful gift for any friend who enjoys canning; the photographs are gorgeous. However, this year I tried a new recipe that seemed to set a little better. Here’s the recipe with a few of my modifications.IMG_4299

Pomegranate Jelly
4 cups of pomegranate juice
1 package of dry fruit pectin
1/3 cup bottled lemon juice
5 cups of sugar

1. Cut pomegranates in half. Squeeze each half in your juicer. Place juice in large jar and save mash in a large bowl. I like to use a food press to get every drop of juice. Hang a jelly bag over a bowl. Strain all the juice through the jelly bag. Let the strained juice sit overnight in the refrigerator. Toss the mash in your composter.

2.  The next morning, you will notice a separation of juice and dregs. I don’t use the dregs in my jelly. Start your water bath canner heating up your water. I have to use bottled or spring water because our tap water is very hard. The hard water will give my canning jars a terrible white film. Start warming up another small saucepan of water for the lids.

2. Pour 4 cups of juice into a stainless steel, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the pectin and lemon juice and stir for several minutes to dissolve the pectin thoroughly. Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

3. Add the sugar and continue to stir constantly until the mixture is a rolling boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then begin to test for jell point. Alternatively, use a candy thermometer. Jelly is done when it reaches 220°.

4. Remove from heat. Ladle or pour hot jelly into prepared hot jelly jars to 1/2 inch from the top. Wipe the rims of the jars clean with damp cloth. Cover with lids and then the rings, finger tight.

5. Process in water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove and enjoy the pop of the jar lids. Label, remove rings and store jars in a cool, dark place.

Pomegranate jelly in the cupboard makes me very happy.