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Pomegranate Syrup

2 pomegranates
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water

Cut pomegranates open crosswise and pry out the seeds. Be careful
not to include any fragments of the cottony white pulp in which
the seeds are embedded, as it is bitter. You should have about
two cups of seeds.

Using a food processor or blender, chop the seeds with the sugar
and water just long enough to make a rough puree.

Pour the puree into an earthenware or glass bowl; cover it with a
cloth. Let stand at room temperature for 3 days, stirring it daily.

Line a sieve with two layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it
over a saucepan of stainless-steel or other nonreactive material.
Filter the pomegranate syrup into the pot, allowing it to drip
without pressing on the pulp. This will take a few hours; you can
speed matters up by tying the cheesecloth lining of the sieve into
a bag and suspending it above the pot after the initial flow of
juice has slowed down. When all the juice has dripped through,
discard the seedy pulp.

Bring the syrup to a simmer (180 F) over medium-low heat, then
reduce the heat to very low and scald the syrup, using a candy/jelly
thermometer and watching to be sure you keep the temperature below
200 F, for 3 minutes. Skim off any foam, then funnel the syrup into
a sterilized, dry bottle. Let the syrup cool, then cap or cork the
bottle (use a new cork only) and store it in the refrigerator.

To seal the syrup for pantry storage, funnel it into hot, clean
half-pint canning jars. Seal with new two-piece canning lids
according to manufacturer's directions. Following the method for
a boiling-water bath, but keeping the water at simmering temperature
(190 F), process the jars for 15 minutes.

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