POM Wonderful sent me a case of their pomegranate juice. Here's the thing, we love pomegranates in our house. The kids know to start looking around Super Bear's birthday because that's when they go on sale. They often request pomegranate seeds for their birthday parties. Other kids have learned what a pomegranate is, by coming to our house and being pressured by my foodies to try it. Once you know how to open and clean the fruit, it's really easy to do. You must cut them open in quarters and then rub the seeds out while holding them under water in a bowl. The seeds will sink to the bottom and the white membrane will float to the top. Pomegranate seeds make a wonderful topping for salads or yogurt, but we like to eat them straight out of hand. Crunchy, crisp, and tart.
Having said all this and making myself look like the pomegranate expert, I had never tried pomegranate juice. Something about that price tag kept me from it. Now with a case of the stuff sent for free sitting in my fridge, I was excited. The first thing I noticed is the shapely bottle. The kids REALLY wanted to hold it and play with it. In fact, our empties have been pulled out of the recycling bin and are now part of the play kitchen equipment. The morning after the POM arrived, I pulled two bottles out and served them with breakfast. The kids LOVED it. Me...not so much. If your kids love those sour gummies, they will surely love this stuff. It's very sour, more so than the actual fruit. My two year old, kept asking for "more please". I had to move all of the remaining bottles up to the top shelf, so the kids wouldn't drink the rest. After all POM sent me the stuff to cook with for crying out loud!
I cooked a pork loin recipe with the juice that was very tasty. The pomegranate juice added the right amount of tart and fruit and pork are always good together. I added some juice to a party punch that I make from time to time. BUT... my seriously amazing, really wonderful way to use this stuff was created in a moment of sheer genius. This one will go down in the history books...really it's that good.
I took one small individual serving size bottle of POM juice and poured it into a medium sized saucepan (important to use medium sized). Then I added 1/4 c of sugar and simmer the juice down til it was nice and syrupy. After it cooled, it went back into the bottle it came from. The next morning I presented my creation. The kids wanted to drink it from the cool bottle, but I told them they had to wait for the pancakes to be ready. When I served the hot pancakes, I grabbed the bottle of POM and before they could say anything I poured it over the pancakes. They thought I was crazy, but then they took a bite. Nirvana! Eureka! Yum! I had made pomegranate syrup and the masses declared it good. It's waaaaay better for them than the fake maple syrup. It's feels like we are at IHOP with the special syrups. It tastes tart and sweet at the same time. I can imagine it would be amazing on a fruit cobbler, topped with ice cream and then POM syrup. This stuff is so good, I took the last two bottles and made more. So here I was thinking I had invented the Next Big Thing and with a quick Google search I am shattered. Alton Brown, that know it all, has already made pomegranate syrup. Uggghhhh!
Still, for the most part I am undeterred. I believe I came upon my own eureka and it definitely made the kids happy. This recipe and the pomegranate juice to make it have become part of the repertoire.
Aimee's Very Own Original Pomegranate Syrup Recipe
1 bottle of POM wonderful pomegranate juice
1/4 c sugar
Put juice and sugar in medium saucepan on medium high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. After the mixture starts simmering, turn the heat down to med low. You don't want to boil it, just a little popping and sparkling going on the surface. This would make a mess if you were not using a medium sized saucepan. After about an hour when it seems thicker, turn the heat off and let it cool a little. Once it's not fiery hot, pour it carefully back in the bottle. Store in the fridge. This will keep for a long time since it has the sugar in it.
Pomegranate Seed Treats
1 large pomegranate, seeded
6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
Be sure your seeds are nice and dry for this one. Melt the chocolate, add dry seeds and gently stir together. Drop by spoonfuls onto your silicon mats. Cool and eat. These don't keep well, so make them the day you are serving them.
1 liter of tonic water (if you like bite) OR 1 liter of any light colored soda
1 liter of assorted juices: orange, apple, grape, grapefruit, pomegrante, cherry, limeade, lemonade (you get the idea)
Slices of limes, lemons and/ or oranges
Combine the soda and juice and right before serving add the citrus slices. Serve over ice. Looks beautiful and nobody serves punch anymore. Try it for a baby shower or birthday celebration. We made it for the Princess party and called it Princess Punch.