Category: pomegranate

Chinese Apple-sauce.

Is it still appropriate (or P.C.) to call pomegranates Chinese Apples? Probably not. I’m not very “P.C.” anyway. I was politically incorrect before Bill Maher (well not really, actually, since he’s older than I, but you catch my drift). At any rate, it’s a pretty cute name for pomegranate sauce, which is what this is. Specifically a pomegranate sauce with cranberries & orange zest.

I haven’t canned anything in months, but I happened upon a few really interesting recipes that were fall/winter-y & so I knew I had to get back in the game. And seeing how my mother is a pomegranate fiend, this was one of the first on the list. She really loves pomegranate, seriously; she drinks P♥M Wonderful like it’s going out of business, has pomegranate apple cider in the fridge, pomegranate-mango body wash in the shower, pomegranate tea in the pantry, pomegranate candies in her purse, etc. I’m not kidding. She’s seriously into it. I am not, but Thanksgiving is coming & I figured pomegranate sauce would work well with a Thanksgiving menu. It’s a super quick, extremely easy recipe that could be adapted in any way you like. I added about 6-7 ounces fresh cranberries & about 1 ½-2 teaspoons orange zest to make it really special, but using just the juice works too. Speaking of using the juice- using bottle pomegranate juice will indeed work in this recipe, as long as it’s unsweetened 100% pomegranate juice, with no additives, i.e. P♥M Wonderful. I know this because that’s what I used. But if you want to use fresh pomegranates, here are a few tips to juicing them:

Roll room temperature pomegranates on a counter-top. Holding the pomegranates over a fine sieve set over a bowl, use a sharp knife to cut out the crown. Squeeze juice & seeds into sieve using hands. Open the fruit and, using a small spoon, scrape remaining seeds into sieve. Use the back of a large spoon to press out any remaining juice from seeds. Wear gloves to prevent staining.

And there you have it.

Be sure to skim the foam & bubbles off before putting the lids & bands on.

CHINESE APPLE-SAUCE (A.K.A. POMEGRANATE SAUCE) WITH CRANBERRIES & ORANGE ZEST

Makes about 4 8-oz. (half-pint) jars

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups pomegranate juice (about 10 pomegranates)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Certo liquid pectin
  • 6 – 7 ounces fresh cranberries (or frozen cranberries, but they’ve gotta be completely defrosted)
  • 1-2 teaspoons orange zest (depending on taste)

Directions:

  1. Sterilize your jars & put the lids in a small bowl filled with hot (not boiling) water.
  2. Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in pectin, return to a rolling boil, allowing to boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat & simmer until reduced in volume & slightly thickened. Check for set using whatever method you like (I wanted a quite loose jelly texture, not thin or watery yet not quite as thick as fully-set jelly, cook longer for a firmer set). If not set to your satisfaction, repeat boil; continue at a rolling boil for 5-10 minutes, then try for set again.
  3. Pour into hot, sterilized jars leaving ¼” headspace. Adjust band until fingertip tight, then process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes (adjusting for altitude). Remove jars & do not disturb for 24 hours, then check lid for seal by pressing. If the center pops or moves, put jar in the fridge & use immediately. If the lid doesn’t move, the seal is good & you can store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months.

Like I mentioned above, if you prefer, you can use just the pomegranate juice & omit the cranberries/orange zest, thats fine too. I made it this way with my fingers crossed, the idea (hopefully) being its (supposedly) great with poultry; i.e. turkey, chicken, duck, Cornish hens, pheasant, goose, blah blah & etc. Basically whatever fowl you prefer. I made mine a few weeks ago, with the intention it wouldn’t be cracked open until Thanksgiving (hence the crossed fingers). That did not happen. As you can see below, it was eaten alongside a roast chicken & a carrot/potato/onion side dish with much gusto. And it was quite a success! Highly enjoyed. So of course I felt much better about its turkey companionship potential. And with all the leftovers everyone will have, you could make it now, use it for turkey day & then have a fantastic turkey sandwich with pomegranate-cranberry-orange sauce the next day, instead of the traditional boring old regular cranberry. This site also says the sauce (albeit another version of a pomegranate sauce) is great on salmon, so I’m guessing it’d be great with other fish too. My sauce turned out quite loose, and thickened over the course of a week or two to a thin jelly-like consistency, which was fine for my purposes. If you prefer a much thicker sauce, for example more “jam-like”, you can add more pectin or let the cranberries cook down further. I found this way to be perfect, however.

That’s it right thurr, people…

……

And if you use fancy little jars, like these, or label them & decorate them in a cute or unique way, an extra jar makes a great hostess gift. Previously, whenever I used these little jars, I got a lot of questions via e-mail or Facebook about where I got them & if I was positive they were Ball® jars. Well yes they are, and I got them over the summer at Walmart for about $3.97 a 4-pack, but you can order them online too, directly from Ball® (for about a buck more). They’re a little pricier than the regular old jars, & you get less than you would the regular 8-oz. ones for the price. But they’re unique & look really nice, so for gift-giving they’re worth it. I’m partial to wide-mouth jars anyway, for some strange reason, especially for pickles, but these are so cute I can’t help myself but buy them, even if they are more costly & come in a smaller quantity. Sometimes you just have to splurge, you know? Besides, jars come in handy for all kinds of things, not just canning. I’d much prefer to store leftover sauces or marinades or what have you in a glass jar than plastic bowl. Just sayin.’ Not to mention larger jars can be used for lots of other things, too…

I’d also like to say that I’ve been asked many times why I bother canning (or baking, etc). Why make your own when you can buy a box of Entenmann’s cupcakes? Why jar your own pickles when buying a jar is so much easier? And to those people (who I’ve addressed before), I’d like to say, or rather I’d like to direct them to this wonderful post that answers the “why’s” beautifully.

Are you all ready for the big eating day? Got your menu all planned & alcohol purchased (and hidden for when the family becomes too much for you to handle)? This little chick below definitely has it all under control. Just throw corn at ‘em, that’ll do it. And in the meantime… don’t forget to enter to win The Cookiepedia! You’ve got until midnight EST on the 18th do get to it…

P♥M Wonderful granita.

The folks at P♥M Wonderful recently e-mailed me again, asking me to make some more delicious recipes using their pomegranate juice. So of course, I obliged. Last time, I made these white chocolate pomegranate cupcakes, so this time I wanted to stay away from cupcakes. Being that it was full-blown 103° record-breaking summertime weather, I thought something cold would be more appropriate. Like granita!

Granita is:

Granita (in Italian also granita siciliana) is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily, although available all over Italy (but granita in Sicily is somewhat different from the rest of Italy), it is related to sorbet and italian ice. However, in most of Sicily, it has a coarser, more crystalline texture. Food writer Jeffrey Steingarten says that “the desired texture seems to vary from city to city” on the island; on the west coast and in Palermo, it is at its chunkiest, and in the east it is nearly as smooth as sorbet. [1] This is largely the result of different freezing techniques: the smoother types are produced in a gelato machine, while the coarser varieties are frozen with only occasional agitation, then scraped or shaved to produce separated crystals.

Basically, to the untrained eye & palate, it’s like an italian ice, just not as smooth. I made a coarse lemon sorbet a few years back and it was so good, I decided to do something like that, but with pomegranate.

So I was sitting there wondering what exactly I would make, what kind of pomegranate ice/sorbet/granita I would create, what other flavors to add, etc. Then I remembered this recipe. I’m one of those people who prints out recipes all day and then loses them. I find recipes for everything from homemade bread to cupcakes to Italian meringue to fried chicken and print them out, with all intentions of using them, and then they disappear. I have no idea where, probably with the socks that go missing from the dryer. And this was one of those that I didn’t personally print, but my mother gave to me, asking me to make it. I lost it, found it again, and then promptly lost it for a final time. So I searched for it on the internet and whattaya know? I found it! Big thanks to Brett Moore at about.com for this. It’s originally a recipe for flourless chocolate cakes with pomegranate granita, but being that the temperature was well over 100° the day I made it, I opted to go with just the granita.

This is a coarse granita, as you can see.


P♥M WONDERFUL GRANITA

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups P♥M Wonderful pomegranate juice (or 7 pomegranates to make 3 cups juice)
  • 1/3 cup of sugar or more, to taste
  • 1/3 cup orange juice

Directions:

  1. If using P♥M Wonderful juice, set aside 3 cups of it (I used 3- 8 oz bottles of it). If using pomegranates, juice the pomegranates by cutting them in half and using a citrus reamer or juicer. Alternatively, scoop out the seeds and press out the juice through a sieve. Save some of the seeds to use as garnish if you want.
  2. In a bowl combine the pomegranate juice, sugar, and orange juice. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Taste and add more sugar if you like it sweeter. Remember that freezing will dull the sweetness somewhat.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 9 by 13 inch pan or dish, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in freezer. Let the liquid freeze solid, about 3 to 4 hours. Break up the ice into large chunks and place into a bowl. Break the ice into smaller pieces with a mixer or fork (about pea size). Return the granita to the pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and return to freezer. Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

Since I didn’t use pomegranates and I used the P♥M Wonderful juice instead, I had no arils to garnish it with. So instead I used fresh mint from my garden (which I posted about a few days ago). This is so easy to make, and it sounds so impressive, it’s perfect for a summer party. Its as easy as mixing ingredients in a bowl, slapping them in a pan and popping it in the freezer, and when it’s really hot & you don’t feel like baking, it’s an quick fix to satisfy your sweet tooth (without having to own an ice cream maker, which I now do! Jay got me an early birthday present so now I have this!!).

P♥M Wonderful white chocolate pomegranate cupcakes.

So a few weeks ago… actually it was probably more than that but I’ve been kinda busy… anyway a while back the lovely folks at P♥M Wonderful contacted me and offered to send me some of their pomegranate juice, and I immediately began thinking of what I could make with it. I’ve seen a lot of dark chocolate/pomegranate combinations and I knew I didn’t want to do that, since everyone does that it seems. So when I happened upon this recipe I decided that’s what I’d do. White chocolate! Why didn’t I think of that!? Anyway, I tweaked it a bit , came up with a glaze concept and changed it to suit me better, but essentially it’s all her idea.

The health benefits of pomegranate are really incredible, take a look:

Pomegranate juice has a superior ability to prevent LDL cholesterol from being oxidized by free radicals. Emerging science suggests that LDL oxidation may be a precursor to atherosclerosis or arterial plaque.

With uniquely high levels of powerful antioxidants, POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice has demonstrated a superior ability to neutralize harmful free radicals.

Pomegranates also help decrease inflammation. So really, it’s one of those awesome fruits that you should eat more of. Even if that means you make these delicious white chocolate pomegranate cupcakes to do so.

WHITE CHOCOLATE POMEGRANATE CUPCAKES

Cupcakes:
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup P♥M Wonderful pomegranate juice
  • 3 large egg whites
Glaze:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line three 6-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Place white chocolate in metal bowl set over pan of barely simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and vanilla in large bowl until blended. Add hot white chocolate to sugar mixture; stir to combine. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with pomegranate juice in 2 additions, beating batter just to combine between additions.
  3. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg white mixture into batter in 3 additions.
  4. Divide batter among muffin cups (about ¼ cup each). Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool completely.

WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Stir white chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in medium bowl until fluffy.
  2. Gradually beat in melted white chocolate. Let cool until thickened to spreadable consistency. Make glaze by mixing pomegranate juice and confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl until completely blended. Add more sugar if needed, the thickness needs to be thick enough that it forms a slight “shell” when it begins to dry.
  3. Dip the top of the cooled cupcakes in pomegranate glaze, let the excess run off. Put aside and allow to “set.” Pipe  frosting over glaze on cupcakes after it’s completely set.

I used those fancy lil nut cups for these, so I didn’t use ¼ cup to fill them, I just filled them 5/8′s full. But if YOU use these cups, you should fill yours ½ full, because mine went over the tops and some of them fell apart.

I chose to just pipe a little “wreath” of frosting over the glaze. You can do whatever you like, even frost them and then dip them in the glaze.

Bottom line: these are some bad-ass cuppin’ cakes.

Oh- and before you go… there’s still time to enter the giveaway! It ends October 12th at midnight EST. Get those entries in, guys, the prizes are so worth it!