Thursday, November 11, 2010

Make Your Own POM Wonderful Molasses, In 60 Minutes.

   Since I was one of the people selected to cook a POM Wonderful dinner this week I've been busy planning the decor, planning the menu, and now prepping for Saturdays' feast. One of the essential ingredients I always have in my kitchen is pomegranate molasses. Northern Indian cuisine  has a great deal of Middle Eastern Influence and pomegranate is frequently found in the list of ingredients. I also use it in all sorts of Western style dishes too. There's nothing that doesn't taste better with a touch of good pomegranate molasses added to it. Good being the operative word.
   If you live in any city, pomegranate molasses is fairly easy to come by. It can be found in any Middle Eastern Grocery and a lot of large markets are now stocking it too. So the idea of making my own pomegranate molasses was the furthest thing from my mind until POM Wonderful came into the picture. Sure, I've used their juices but actually making my own molasses?? Could it actually be done easily? Turns out, yes. Really.
   I decided that in order to be as authentic to fresh pomegranate taste as I could, and keeping with my old skool traditions (that's the way I roll) I would make everything in my POM dinner from scratch.
Besides 2 cases of fresh delicious pomegranates, I was given a number of coupons allowing me free bottles of POM Wonderful juice. I decided to take 2 of those bottles and start brewing molasses.

   Here's how you can do the same thing without any chemicals and preservatives in 60 minutes. All you need is POM Wonderful juice, lemon and sugar. Slow as molasses. No way!

Pomegranate Molasses

  Into a large pot pour 2 16 oz bottles of POM Wonderful Pomegranate juice.
 Add in:
 1/2 cup of sugar
 2 Tbs of fresh lemon juice
Whisk it all together well, then set it on the stove on a high heat. Bring the juice mixture to a rapid boil then turn down the heat to a medium simmer. You don't want to see it boiling hard but you do want to see a lively simmer.
  That's it. Simmer the mixture for 1 hour. It may take less time. Keep an eye on things so it doesn't burn. Whisk it every now and then. I made this while working on our script and popping into the kitchen every now and then to check on it. When it coats the spoon it's done.
  Speaking of checking on it, on one kitchen trip I was surprised to find one of my "boys" staring into the kitchen window looking for me.
   After finding a fawn dead on our property during an extreme Sonoma heat wave a few years ago, I started leaving clean buckets of fresh water scattered around for the deer that roam across our hills. And yeah, I also cop to occasionally tossing them some left over vegetables and fruit as sort of a mobile composting service. Two of our fawns keep coming back to visit, only now they're not so small. He stopped, looked over at my succulent beds, thought better of it then had himself a nice long drink of fresh water.
 Sort of the deer equivalent of a college kid coming home and dropping off his laundry. Hey mom!
 Meanwhile the juice simmered away. At the end of an hour, two 16 oz bottles had reduced to a nice thick cup of freshly made, no preservatives, only the good stuff pomegranate molasses.
    Just for fun I went to my pantry and got out my store-bought molasses. While not full of strange things there was certainly waaaaay more sugar than I'd prefer and a few preservatives I'm sure my body really wasn't crying out for. Also simple creature that I am, I just love the way it clings to the spoon.


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