All Natural Pomegranate Gumdrops

All Natural Homemade Pomegranate Gumdrops are made with healthy fruit juice ~ this is an easy project to do with kids, and homemade candy makes a fabulous gift!

Homemade Gum Drops

Is there anything more holidayish than a gumdrop? Ok, maybe a sugar plum, but that’s about it. Gumdrops are an old world style candy, and that’s what I love about them. With their glowing stained glass jelly insides and their glistening sugar coating they kind of symbolize the wonder of candy itself. They’re like little snow covered gems, and it’s pretty magical to see them come together. Why not switch it up this year and make these in place of one batch of cookies?

All Natural Homemade Gum Drops

Traditional gumdrops are made with gum arabic or gelatin, plus sugar, flavoring and coloring. Originally they were called spice drops, and they were flavored with real spice and herb extracts like spearmint, peppermint, clove, allspice, anise and cinnamon. But nowadays you’re more likely to find artificial colors and flavors. I like my flavors to come from something other than a bottle…like, say, a pomegranate. So I wondered if I could make a classic gumdrop with pomegranate juice, sugar, and gelatin. Guess what? I did! And you can too!

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That’s the gelatin softening on top of the juice, above, isn’t that wild? This is a fun little frivolous project for the season, and doesn’t take much time, especially if you boil the juice, sugar and gelatin the night before, and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. The next day you get to do all the fun stuff.

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You turn the pan of jellied candy out onto a sugar coated surface…

All natural gumdrops

Slice it into 1/2″ slices…

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And slice the slices into little cubes. Then coat all the surfaces in sugar, but not before you admire the glossy reddish purple of your pomegranate jelly.

Pomegranate gumdrops

Did you ever think you’d be making gumdrops??

Romegranate Gumdrop bitten

If you like this idea, think about other natural fruit bases you could use, like grape, orange, or grapefruit juice. Or use water with NATURAL FLAVORINGS and NATURAL FOOD COLOR. I should note that these turn out softer than store bought gumdrops. The texture is like a fruit jelly candy. But I like that better. The flavor of these is mild, too, especially if you’re used to all the artificially boosted flavors of today’s candy. You may want to use a little NATURAL POMEGRANATE FLAVORING to enhance it. If you want a tangier flavor, you may want to add some lemon juice to the recipe.

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Are you starting to get into the holiday spirit?

Pomegranate Gumdrops square

Print
3.14 from 97 votes

All Natural Pomegranate Gum Drops

Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (for vegetarian options, see note below)
  • 3/4 cup and 1 1/8 cup of pomegranate juice measured separately (I used Pom pomegranate juice)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar plus more for coating the candy

Instructions

  • Line an 8x8 inch pan with plastic wrap. Spray the wrap with cooking spray.
  • Put the 3/4 cup of pomegranate juice in a saucepan. Sprinkle it with the gelatin and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Bring the remaining 1 1/8 cup juice to a boil in a different saucepan, and then add it to the the juice and gelatin mixture, stirring to dissolve the gelatin.
  • Add the sugar to the pan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture up to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer (keep it gently bubbling) for about 20-25 minutes. Stir almost constantly.
  • Pour the mixture into the plastic lined pan. let cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours, or overnight.
  • Coat a surface with sugar and then gently lift the cold jelly out of the pan, using the plastic wrap to hold it. Turn it over onto the sugar. Coat the top with sugar.
  • Slice the jelly into approximately 1/2 inch strips, and then into 1/2 inch cubes. I sprayed my knife with cooking spray at first, but then the buildup of sugar on the knife actually helps it not stick. Gelatin is very forgiving and flexible, so just slice right through and pull it apart. It will spring back into shape.
  • Coat all surfaces of the candy with granulated sugar and let air dry for several hours. Then you can package them for gifts, or eat them up.

Cook's notes

For vegetarian gelatin substitutes see THIS ARTICLE.
If you want to make a sour gummy candy, mix the sugar for the coating with some CITRIC ACID.
This recipe was inspired by Our Best Bites
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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44 Comments

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  • Reply
    Kim
    March 19, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Can I use sucralose instead of sugar. I might have missed a reply to that comment but I’m trying to find treats to eat that are sugar free. What would be the recommended ingredient amendment to do so please.

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 19, 2018 at 5:12 pm

      I can’t say for sure since I haven’t tried these with a sugar substitute, Kim, sorry!

  • Reply
    Laura
    December 24, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Okay, these look beautiful and I believe they set properly,
    but the taste and smell are terrible!
    I’m not sure what I did wrong…….never attempted anything like this before!
    Could it be the Knox gelatin I used?

    • Reply
      Laura
      December 25, 2016 at 9:41 am

      Apparently everyone else thinks they taste great!
      haha

  • Reply
    Lizzie
    September 18, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Is it possible to make a green-colored version of this with mint and green food coloring? I want to make these for Christmas this year and I am considering my options.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 18, 2016 at 11:00 am

      You could do this with a sweetened syrup flavored with mint and colored green, Lizzie.

      • Reply
        Lizzie
        September 20, 2016 at 8:52 am

        Thank you!

  • Reply
    Lynne
    December 13, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I simmered the syrup for 22 minutes and checked the temperature on a candy thermometer. It was at 225 degrees, which is soft ball stage, so I took it off the heat right then. Some people mentioned the candy being soft and chewy. If you let the candy air dry overnight before sugaring it, and then let the sugared candy stay out in the air for a day or two, a more gumdrop-like “crust” occurs. Very nice!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 13, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks Lynne!

  • Reply
    Tricia
    August 28, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Sue, just checking to find out if pouring the bubbling hot mixture on top of plastic wrap wouldn’t melt the plastic? I guess not since no one has commented that it does. My mouth is watering to try this!

    • Reply
      Sara
      November 8, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      I just made this today. It melted a hole the plastic wrap for me! =[ I had to remove it and just have it in the pan. Hopefully I can get it out!

  • Reply
    Joanne
    December 27, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Is there any way you could make the candy a little lighter?

    • Reply
      Joanne
      December 27, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      In color

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 27, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Not sure, I guess you could dilute the juice, and that would lighten the color, but also the flavor.

  • Reply
    Barb
    December 22, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    I made a number of batches of these but as I made them I developed the recipe a bit, which I think improved it a bit. I used organic juices that I found at my local Wegmans. Wild Blueberry and Tart Cherry. I wanted a fuller flavor so used 2 cups in the pot heated to boil reduced the juice to 1 cup than added 2 cups of organic sugar. I still used 3/4 cup of juice and 3 TBS of unflavored gelatin. I did not simmer them for long after adding the gelatin to the reduced juice. My organic sugar was larger crystals so I broke them in the food processor for a minute.

    Tasty and a fresh gift for my friends.

    Barb

  • Reply
    MK
    December 9, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Hi:

    I did try this recipe, but substituted cranberry juice for the pomegranate juice. Otherwise, I followed your recipe exactly as you directed, but the mixture did not get firm at all, and I was very disappointed. Is there a reason cranberry juice can’t be used?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 10, 2014 at 7:21 am

      Hi MK, the cranberry juice should work. They would be like a concentrated form of cranberry jelly. I hope you give it another try, but remember, they won’t be as firm or chewy as a store bought gumdrop, they have a softer, more jellied texture. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Amelia
    November 21, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Just wondering… Is there a way you could make some type of ginger version of this? Like for nausea? I bet it would be good 🙂

  • Reply
    Christina
    June 5, 2014 at 9:56 am

    What a great idea!! I have a huge bottle (Costco sized) of Pom in my fridge…now to see if I have enough gelatin! Yum!!

    • Reply
      Teresa
      November 4, 2019 at 7:45 am

      Pomegranate, persimmon, ginger and honey, jelly, a infusion of great seasonal fruit.

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