pomegranate molasses. and loki.

side

It’s Monday. The last day of February and, officially, the end of Australian summertime. Rather hard to believe, as the weather remains warm and I’m still in light clothing past midnight (it’s 01:04am). As I type, a slight breeze wafts through the open door, the air redolent of wet grass and burnt shrubbery. Both were presumably soaked this evening by domestic sprinklers, a timer set to summer restrictions. I can imagine the leaves unfurling after hours in the blazing sun.

This is my favourite time of day. The inky black, the quiet. The street is almost still and other than Loki’s gentle breaths, our living room is too. I’m tired but relaxed, my fingers wrapped comfortably around a glass of iced water. I type, thoughts align: if only life was always this simple.

glass

In my last post, I mentioned that I made some pomegranate molasses from some fruit that was languishing in my refrigerator crisper. It’s absolutely beautiful, sticky and piquant, so much better than anything from the store.

The original plan was to use the molasses in this sort of salad with some crumbled blue cheese, mum’s leftover apples, lentils and a sprinkle of toasted walnuts. Instead, I ate the apples (yep, told you I would) then went Ottolenghi-esque with various glazed roasted vegetables (carrots, eggplant, Brussels sprouts), all of which disappeared with some wilted spinach, toasted pepitas and soft goats cheese.

I took absolutely no photos. Well, other than these, which were snapped after I made the molasses. I guess I was too busy eating.

lid

So, take two: I’m posting the recipe for pomegranate molasses today with plans to make more as autumn takes hold. It’ll be drizzled over roasted cauliflower (in yoghurt, olive oil and sumac), whisked into lentil salad dressings and best of all, I’m planning a chicken tagine with the molasses, plenty of pepper and oregano.

All very autumnal food, slow and nourishing, fragrant with warming spices. Watch this space for (new season) recipes, coming soon.

But for now? Make this molasses and drizzle it over your (homemade or store-bought, I don’t judge!) hummus with some toasted crushed pistachios and/or walnuts, chopped tomato and parsley. Have an end-of-summer (or winter, depending upon where you are) sundowner, with char-grilled bread and some chilled white wine.

It’s super good, borderline gourmet with very little fuss. You’ll be glad you did.

Pomegranate Molasses

Adapted from this recipe by Sarah Hobbs

  • 2-3 fresh pomegranates to yield 1 cup (250mL) of juice (I found 1 pomegranate = roughly 125mL of juice)
  • 1/4 cup white caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Remove arils from pomegranates (I use the scoring method from this post). Place into the bowl of a food processor, then process until crushed (the inner seeds should be visible and all flesh should be reasonably pulpy). Strain through a fine sieve into a jug, pressing the pulp with back of a spoon to release the juice.

Combine the juice (which should be around 1 cup) with the caster sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a simmer. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes or until the mixture is syrupy, has reduced by half and easily coats the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool slightly, then pour into an airtight jar.

I store my pomegranate molasses in the pantry (at room temperature) as I use it quickly, however it should keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.

aerial

As I know how much you all love Loki, I thought I’d end with a quick snap (by Aaron) of what he does every time I use my food processor. As soon as the motor starts running, he sprints to the kitchen bench and launches an attack.

Heck he jumps high. I do hope he’s not afraid of it. I’ve attempted to confine him to the bedroom while I use it but… well, he hates it (meaning the confinement, but possibly the food processor too). Maybe he wants to operate it himself?

loki

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31 responses

  1. This looks fabulous. I have access to exceptional pomegranate molasses here, but have always wanted to make my own. Ottolenghi’s Plenty More actually has a kind of pomegranate reduction in which he cooks quinces, so I guess I made “molasses” without really realizing it, but I would like to give it a go with my mind actually focused on what I am doing, and this sounds like a lovely recipe. I bet it was wonderful with all those veggies. This is such an inspiration!

    • Oh, I must try that quince reduction from Ottolenghi’s book! I haven’t looked at it properly since I bought it. I actually don’t cook quinces very often as I hardly see them in stores but I do love the flavour. Hope that you enjoy the pomegranate version Darya! x

  2. Lovely Laura, I love pomegranate molasses and also love making it myself. It can be used in so many different dishes, That photo of Loki is hilarious, I guess your processor is a trigger for him how funny that he jumps like that, He is adorable.

    • Yeah I guess it is, I think he was initially uncertain of the noise but then curious…? It’s frustrating as it deters me from using my food processor. Kind of adorable though! Thanks Suzanne xx

  3. He’s so cute! My brother’s beagle used to leap up and would grab whatever he could get from the counter…hoping that it would be a loaf of bread. We saw him grab a fork, only to have my sister-in-law immediately take it from him. He just wants to help you (and hoping for a nibble). ;) Hope your week goes well. xxx

    • Haha! Oh dear. Dogs are ruled by their stomachs, aren’t they? My friend’s Weimaraner used to jump up to grab food off her kitchen counter. He took an entire quiche and a loaf of banana bread (that was cooling on the counter) on the same day once. She was fuming! Loki can’t quite grab items like that but he could definitely pull anything that was overhanging… argh. So cute but so frustrating. Little punk :) Thanks Julie xx

    • Argh, I know what you mean. I think it’s supposed to get to around 35 on Wednesday here in Perth too! One last whack of hot weather before the cool sets in (I hope. I much prefer cool weather!). Oh, and I am seriously in love with Weck jars (so simple but so pretty!). Thanks Laur xx

    • Haha, he doesn’t like the noise, that’s for sure. I have no idea whether he’s aiming to attack it or if it’s just curious to him though. Thanks Sophie, hope you’re doing ok! x

  4. Pingback: Warm roasted beetroot and carrot salad – Healthfection

  5. I am definitely going to try this, Laura, though I may use pure pomegranate juice rather than the whole fruit. It’s a matter of availability and I can readily get juice year-round. Your Loki looks like a handful, at least when the food processor is running. I had wanted a dog about Loki’s size but Max kept growing … and growing. Nothing left on a counter top is safe from his reach. Thank heavens he doesn’t mind the food processor. Other than lock him out of the kitchen, I don’t know how I’d handle him. Anyway,thanks for showing how to make the molasses.

    • Yes definitely give it a go with pomegranate juice John! It would work beautifully and it’s much less effort than juicing those little seeds. I might have a look for the juice myself next time.
      As for Loki, yes he’s an energetic little thing, a bit mischievous (we did call him Loki after all!) but if I tell him off he’s generally obedient. We let him jump this time just to grab the shot (as it’s hilarious to watch him!) but I don’t tolerate it on a regular basis. Haha, I can’t believe Max just grew beyond expectations! I have another friend whose dog did the same thing but I guess it was part of the ‘crossbreed’ thing (you’re never quite sure which traits are going to be more prominent). Thank goodness Max keeps out of your way when the machinery is running! Thanks John!

  6. I’ve tried to make pomegranate molasses before but it didn’t work out too well. I will try again to make mine look like yours. I love using it in Ottolenghi recipes. It’s something I refuse to buy if I can make well. I love the color in that first photo! You’re cat is soooo cute! What an athlete :)

    • This method seems pretty fail-safe Amanda, I think you could even get some pure pomegranate juice from the supermarket and try it with the same method (might help keep the costs and time element down too!). The molasses came out beautifully dark and syrupy in my case, I hope you get the same result and can stop buying it altogether! YES for Ottolenghi. Love his recipes! Haha, and thanks for the notes on Loki. He is such a funny little dog! x

    • I love that saying, daft as a brush. My dad always says ‘as thick as two bricks’ but I think I prefer your version! Loki seems pretty smart actually, but food processors make him unwieldy. I’ll have to try him out with other appliances! Thanks Conor

  7. Oh Laura– the color of that molasses!! It invites a pour over anything! And I love all the combinations you suggested– things I never would have thought of– great healthy suggestions… And Loki! We had a little terrier, Snickers, years ago (I’m sure everyone’s going to send you there dog tales)– He was a jumper as well. Over the 6′ fence several times. We couldn’t believe it–but always were able to locate and retrieve that guy! Happy eating– and hugs to Loki and you all… xo

    • Oh thank you lovely! Yes it’s pretty delicious, so easy to use in all sorts of vegetable dishes. Wow, I can’t believe Snickers jumped over the 6′ fence, that is AMAZING! Athletic little guy. So glad he always came back home though. P.S I love hearing dog stories, they’re so much fun! Hugs back xx

      • Oh, we have a hundred Snickers the dog stories! He’s gone now, but I think of him sitting at my feet every night while I cooked dinner, begging for a scrap. Hugs to you (and Loki!).

  8. I use pomegranate molasses all the time but have been lazy and bought it! I need to try yours, especially since we have a pomegranate tree! Cute pic of (most of) you and Loki! xx

    • That sounds absolutely ideal David, having a tree would make it super easy (and pretty cheap, I imagine!). Haha, thanks for the kind words on the pic. Yep, me being headless is the usual ;) x

  9. OMG the cat! I laughed so hard. I must have scared our two cats to death when they were kittens because neither ventures near the kitchen benches. Kinda makes me sad after seeing that great photo.

    I’ve never made pomegranate molasses but I’d love to. I’ve bought some, sure but never made it myself.

    • Haha, thanks Maureen! Animals always make things more fun (or dangerous and unpredictable!) don’t they? It’s probably a good thing that your cats don’t go near the kitchen benches. Luckily Loki can’t actually get on the surfaces but my friend with cats always finds their hair all over the clean dishes!

      The molasses is super easy to make and in my opinion it tastes even better than the pre-bottled stuff. As a couple of other people have suggested, you could probably even make it easily from bottled pomegranate juice (preferably sugar free but I guess the amount of sugar could be reduced if the juice has sugar).
      Thanks so much for the comment lovely! x

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