Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate Molasses

StreuselI love pomegranates!  I ate an entire one yesterday.

I visited Armenia almost 10 years ago and became fascinated with this fruit while there.  Armenians believe the fruit symbolizes fertility.  They make a wonderful wine of pomegranate and depict the fruit in their art and dishware.

the-pomegranate

While in Armenia, one gentleman told me a tall tale of a lost Armenian surviving for an entire year with only one pomegranate by eating one seed a day, he was adamant that every pomegranate has 365 seeds!  A quick google search suggests many more seeds than that but to be fair I have never counted the seeds in a pomegranate!

I couldn’t help myself when Costco was selling 6 packs of these huge red orbs last week.  I have successfully eaten three but I’m starting to wonder if I can really eat the other three before they start to dry up.  As I pondered how I could turn pomegranates into a homemade gift, the lightbulb went off.  Who wouldn’t love their own little bottle of pomegranate molasses?  As I searched on my favorite site, Food52, for recipes I could give with the cute little bottles of pomegranate molasses, the possibilities were endless!  Add the molasses to dark chocolate truffles or drizzle over your favorite roasted vegetable!

 

Pomegranate Molasses

courtesy of Alton Brown

makes 1 cup

 

4 c. pomegranate juice, see below how to juice a pomegranate

1/2 c. sugar

1 to 2 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice

 

Prepare two large pomegranates for juicing as follows;

Submerge the pomegranate in a bowl of water and cut in half.  Gently remove the arils from the skin under the water, no mess!

Easy way to remove Arils

Place the arils in a large saucepan with enough water to cover them.  Boil for approximately 20 minutes.  Crush the arils with a potato masher to fully release the juice.  Alternately, place the warm arils in a blender and then strain the blended mixture to capture only the juice.

I read online that blending the arils can make the juice more bitter.  I tried both ways with these arils and thought the blending certainly released more juice and I didn’t taste a noticeable difference.

Bring the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice to a boil and then simmer uncovered for at least an hour or until the liquid has reduced to the desired consistency.  Mine took about 65 minutes to reduce to one cup.  You can see here the color change from 0 to 30 to 65 minutes.  There’s a lot of steam action in that first photo!

reduction

Let cool and place in bottles like these to give to friends and family!  Admittedly, to make many bottles for gift giving it would be easier to just go buy pure pomegranate juice in bulk and boil it down but in the true spirit of a homemade gift this is the real deal!

 

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