Following is a technical writer's solution to extracting the juice from pomegranates. A word of caution--don't plan on doing this in your kitchen. Do it in the back yard, on a patio or in a garage. Use a heavy duty extractor. True, you can shell out the pomegranates by hand and put them through a food mill, but it will take you FOREVER. And you will need a fifth of scotch to get through the ordeal. (I tried that once - Chivas Regal)
Caution: Pomegranate juice stains clothes, hands, anything it comes in contact with.
What you need before you get started:
- A couple of pitchers
- Large, capped jars for the juice
- A fine sieve
- A bag for straining jelly (you can find them in stores that carry canning supplies)
- A sharp knife and cutting board
- Paper towels, newspaper
- A container for catching the extracted juice
- A heavy duty extractor such as Breville
- Old clothes you don't care about getting stained
- Rubber gloves
- Pick the pomegranates without falling off the ladder. If you didn't prune your tree back last fall, you will be inundated with pomegranates. They're pretty, but...
- Scrub the suckers with soapy water. All those birds hanging out in your tree may have left some deposits on the fruit.
- Set up a table and cover it with newspaper.
- Set out your juice extractor and container to catch the juice.
- Place your fruit in buckets or boxes that are within easy reach.
- Place a pomegranate on the cutting board and trim off the flower end so that it's flat.
- Cut the pomegranate in half and place one half in the extractor. Catch that juice! Just keep going. One pomegranate after another. As your juice container fills, place the sieve over the top of one of the pitchers and strain the juice into the pitcher.
- When the pitcher is full, pour the juice through a jelly straining bag into the second pitcher.
- Fill your juice bottle. You will notice after it has set a while, that a fine, cloudy sediment will settle to the bottom. If you are making jelly and liqueur, you want to avoid using this portion in order to have a clear, sparkling finished product.
- Refrigerate the juice and drink it as is (depends on the kind of pomegranate--some are sweeter than others) or use the juice in your favorite jelly recipe. Jelly can be processed in a hot water bath on your grill--another way to avoid the mess in your kitchen and the heat. Also see my recipe for pomegranate gelato. It's easy and amazing.