Monday, November 14, 2011

Fresh Pomegranate Juice {And a Few Ways to Use it}

This is a very simple recipe post.  I wanted to show it to you all because I thought the pictures were just lovely.  The pomegranate is such a beautiful color and so interesting.  I couldn't help but snap photo after photo of this strange fruit.
Most people simply break open the fruit and eat the little arils (did you know that's what the seeds are called?).  Or they buy the juice already bottled from the store.  But having recently discovered how wonderful freshly squeezed orange juice is (thanks to the orange tree in my backyard) and how much better it is than the store bought stuff, I'm up for giving just about any fresh juice a shot.  A quick glance at the pomegranates that were languishing in my fruit bowl- along with persimmons I'll be using up in a Thanksgiving recipe later in the week- and I knew that they weren't going to get eaten unless I did something drastic.
The fingers of my two year old son trying to crush the seeds for me.
So all you need is a lot of patience to pluck the arils from the flesh of the pomegranate (those little buggers can be stubborn), a lot of soap for the cleanup (unless you like everything in your kitchen to be a bright shade of pinky purple), and a food processor.  Once you've made your juice, I'll share with a you a few great ways to use it.
Fresh Pomegranate Juice
Makes about 2 1/2 cups of juice

5 pomegranates

Remove the arils from the pomegranates by breaking open the fruit with a knife and plucking out the jewel colored "seeds".  Place them in a large bowl.  Working in three batches, blitz the arils in a food processor for about 10 seconds or until the they have released all their juices.  Pour the juice and pulp through a fine mesh sieve and into a large measuring cup or bowl.  Repeat with the other two batches.  Refrigerate.

What to do with your pomegranate juice:
1. Drink it (duh!).  We've been sipping it from little orange juice glasses for breakfast.
2. Turn it into pomegranate syrup.  Follow the directions here and make yourself a syrup that you can use to flavor carbonated water to make your own soda or pour in the bottom of a champagne glass for a festive and beautiful holiday drink.
3. Use it with some sugar and vanilla bean to poach pears.
4. Boil the juice down to a "molasses" (you'll have about 1/3 cup after it reduces) and use it to baste meats- think the Thanksgiving turkey, in salad dressings, or even drizzled over ice cream.

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