Sometimes I get ideas in my mind and they work out to my benefit. While at other times, NOTSOMUCH. This was one of those occurences that I actually found my hand reaching behind my shoulder blade to pat myself on the back for a job well done. I mean, really? Look at this! COME ON.
I wanted to create a new dish by using an ingredient I couldn’t find in my local supermarket – POMEGRANATE MOLASSES. Many of you told me I would be able to find it at a middle eastern specialty shop. But to be honest, the thought of putting my coat on and going out to search for it was daunting.
Pomegranate molasses is both sweet and tangy. It’s made with just three simple ingredients – pomegranate juice, lemon juice and sweetener. This type of molasses is simply made by reducing the pomegranate juice into a thick syrup. Fresh lemon juice is added as a natural acidic preservative. As well, a sweetener (sugar) is added to balance the tartness of the juice and shorten the time it takes for the mixture to thicken and turn into this beautiful syrup. When researching ingredients online for both a recipe and a store bought variety, I noted that WHITE sugar was at the top of the list. Hmmm…not great. Although I have a ton of recipes on the blog that contain sugar, I’m really trying my best to incorporate healthier options lately. I AM….I REALLY AM!
Oh, and just as a side note, I walked into the kitchen and noticed a bright red stain on my hardwood floor that looked like blood. Immediately, I’m thinking I must be hemorrhaging from some part of my body. Before I dialed 911, Steve reminded me that I must have dripped some molasses onto the floor while running back and forth to the set to photograph it. I’m such a dope sometimes. Ugh.
Here’s what you need to make the perfect POMEGRANATE MOLASSES:
- Pomegranate Juice – First and foremost – anything other than fresh pomegranate juice will not work in this recipe. You may seed and juice your own pomegranates (which is a huge pain in the tush), or buy a big bottle of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice from the supermarket. I used this one and it worked PERFECTLY. Whatever you do, please only use unsweetened, real juice in this recipe.
- Sugar – I added 1/4 cup of pure cane sugar. It was just enough to give the molasses a good balance. If you prefer it to be sweeter, go right ahead and add 1/2 cup of any type of unrefined sugar, maple syrup, honey or agave.
- Lemon Juice – one lemon is all you will need and it 100% should be from the juice of a FRESH LEMON. I truly find that the concentrated lemon juice just doesn’t cut it in my recipes. In fact, I think it tastes weird. Maybe it’s just me, but fresh is best.
- If you’re willing to squeeze the juice from fresh pomegranates, the end result will yield a more luminous ruby red colour when compared to pomegranate molasses made with bottled juice. Either way, I think you will be happy.
- You CAN and might just overcook your pomegranate molasses. IT HAPPENS when you forget about your molasses on the stove and it’s not pretty. You absolutely can flub this up and it will not only harden when it cools, it will also turn a yucky brown colour. Keep your eye on it so as not to be disappointed.
- Using different flavours in the ingredients. For instance, you can adjust the sweetness levels by adding more or less sugar. To kick up the flavour, feel free to add spices such as cinnamon or cayenne pepper. NOTE: these may change the colour of the molasses as well.
How to make sure your molasses is done:
- Bubbles will begin to form as it continues to heat. They will start to look stickier and more viscous.
- The spoon test. Does the molasses coat the spoon? That’s a good indication that it’s nearly done. Check out some of my photos throughout the blog to see what it should look like dripping from the spoon.
- The reduction. From four cups of fresh pomegranate juice, the yield should be about one quarter of the original volume. For instance, four cups of liquid to start will give you about one cup of the reduced molasses. Get it? Got it. Good.
What are you going to use your molasses for:
Pomegranate molasses is super delish and can be used as a yummy glaze or drizzle for chicken (which I did), salmon, waffles, pancakes or added to stews, salad dressings, cocktails and desserts.
You need to trust me here. Pomegranate molasses will be your new favourite kitchen condiment.
LOVE AT FIRST DRIZZLE.
- 4 cups pomegranate juice - fresh or store bought
- ¼ - ½ cup pure cane sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, agave or organic honey
- juice from one lemon
- Add the pomegranate juice, sweetener, and fresh lemon juice to a medium sized pot set over medium heat. Whisk well to combine and bring to a low boil. Tiny bubbles should form around the edge of the pot. Reduce heat to a low simmer.
- Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent the sugar from burning to the bottom of the pot for about 60-75 minutes, until it's reached a sticky, syrupy consistency. You will see bubbles forming as it reduces and you can test it with a spoon. It should be sticky but still run off the spoon in a slow stream. DO NOT OVERCOOK or you will end up with brown molasses.
- Transfer molasses to a clean mason jar to cool completely. Then seal with a tight fitting lid and before refrigerating.