Pomegranate Syrup

Pomegranate Syrup

I’ve been obsessed with making my own pomegranate syrup ever since I saw this recipe in the Cornersmith cookbook a few years back. This year, I promised myself, was going to be the year of preserves and I was finally going to get it together to make my own pomegranate syrup. The thing about this recipe  is you need access to a bountiful pomegranate tree you can raid or super cheap pomegranates at the markets, because anything to do with the juicing of pomegranate seeds requires a lot of fruit. As the season advanced and pomegranates never went seem to go below three dollars a piece, I almost gave up on the pomegranate syrup dream, when  I saw pomegranates at four dollars a kilo at my local fruit shop, so  I seized the moment and bought 4 kilos.

Despite all the YouTube videos out there promising painless pomegranate de-seeding without any mess the  reality of de-seeding a whole heap of pomegranates is you will undoubtedly end up with some juice sprayed on your clothes, floors and walls.  I tried a few methods before settling on this technique of dissecting the fruit in half, crunching round the skin to loosen the seeds  and then tapping out the seeds with a wooden spoon. If you’re not obsessed with leaving no seed behind (which I must admit I was) This is a fairly efficient way of doing it, particularly once you get the knack of firmly thwacking the pomegranate with the wooden spoon to get the seeds to fall out into the bowl.

Once the pain is over there is something very satisfying about having this liquified ruby gold of pomegranates in the fridge  In fact, if I wasn’t going away this week, I might be tempted to buy a few more kilos of pomegranates and make my own molasses. You could do a cheats version and buy good quality pomegranate juice to make molasses but there is something very satisfying about immersing yourself in the seasonal abundance and de-seeding a whole heap pomegranates.

This makes a lightly sweetened syrup which is very versatile and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes – a splash in soda water with lime juice makes a refreshing not too sweet mocktail, it’s great in dressings, marinades, yogurt I’ve even thrown some in dal as sweet, savoury kick at the end.

Pomegranate Syrup

Adapted from Cornersmith – Alex Elliot-Howery and James Grant

Yield – 300mls of syrup

  • 10-12 pomegranates
  • 2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
  1. Remove seeds from pomegranates making sure you discard all the bitter white pith.
  2. Juice the pomegranate seeds either in a juicer or (if you don’t have a juicer) blitz them in a food processor then strain them through a fine sieve. Make sure you squeeze all of the juice out with a spoon if you’re using a sieve.
  3. You should have about 500mls of juice. Place juice in saucepan with sugar, bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until, the syrup thickens slightly but doesn’t become too syrupy.
  4. While the syrup is cooking sterilise your bottle. Wash and rinse thoroughly then place in an oven upright on a tray on 120 degrees celsius for 10- 20 minutes and bottle is dry. I sterilize the lids by boiling them in water for ten minutes.
  5. Allow the syrup to sit for a few minutes, scoop off any scum that may have formed before pouring hot syrup into the hot bottle and screwing on the lids tightly.
  6. This syrup will keep for at least three months in the fridge. If you want it to keep longer you can heat process the bottles for an extra 15 minutes, but I decided after the pain of all that de-seeding and juicing I didn’t want to risk any bottles breaking during heat processing and losing any precious syrup.

 

 

 

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