Baking Hermann
Recipes

Pomegranate Molasses

Once you've made something from scratch, you'll never look at it at the same way. It's transformative education. It decodes food labels and their ingredient lists, it qualifies price tags, it makes you appreciate, savour and cherish every bite more. The first time I truly felt this way, was when I baked a successful loaf of sourdough bread. You'll never look back.

So ‘Why not just buy pomegranate molasses?’ I hear you say.

It’s the deepest gratification and you’ll carry it with you every time you eat & drink. Get out there and make something from scratch. You’ll come out of it a little wiser, with a little more empathy for natural ingredients.

Unless you have an abundance of pomegranates growing near you, making your own molasses is not cost-effective. You need a lot of fruit for fairly little molasses and it’ll most likely cost more to buy the pomegranates than the ready-made product. A lot of recipes add sugar to the juice, which will thicken it much quicker, giving you a larger quantity. But in this recipe, we’re going 100% pure juice.

makes 150 – 200 ml

Ingredients

  • 5-6 pomegranates (3kg) for 1.4kg seeds and 1l juice

Method

Use whichever method you prefer to juice all of the pomegranates. Here are three options.

Method 1 (messy but fast): Cut the pomegranates in half along the equator, then place one half cut side down into your hand above a bowl and use a wooden spoon to continuously whack the back of the pomegranate, letting the seeds drop into the bowl. Fill the bowl with water to let any pith float to the surface and either skim or slowly pour it off, repeating this step with fresh water if necessary. Strain the seeds and transfer them to a food processor. Pulse a few times to break down the seeds, then strain them again through a sieve to catch the juice. Use your hands to squeeze the remaining juice out of the pulp.

Method 2 (thorough but slow): Fill a large bowl with water. Trim the top 1 cm of the pomegranate, thereby revealing where the segments of the fruit are. Now use a knife to make vertical incisions along the segments all around the pomegranate. Gently wiggle each segment to loosen it and pull it out. Then hold one segment at a time under water to avoid the juice from splashing while you remove the seeds. The pith should float to the top. Skim or pour it off and repeat with fresh water if necessary. Then strain the seeds and transfer them to a food processor. Pulse a few times to break down the seeds, then strain them again through a sieve to catch the juice. Use your hands to squeeze the remaining juice out of the pulp.

Method 3 (quick but wasteful): Roll the pomegranate over the kitchen counter to soften and break up the seeds inside (similar to how you’d soften a lime). Be careful not to burst the skin at this point. When the pomegranate feels soft, use a small pairing knife to poke a hole into the pomegranate. Then squeeze the pomegranate to release the juice.

You should end up with around 1l juice. Pour the juice into a saucepan and remove any foam that might have formed on the surface. Bring the juice to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, stirring it every now and then. You want the liquid to reduce to around 150 – 200 ml. By then it will have darkened in colour, the bubbles on the surface will have gotten bigger and the consistency will have changed to a thick syrup that coats the back of a spoon. Take care not to cook it much further than that as it will continue to thicken a little while it cools down. You can also test it by pouring a teaspoon of the molasses into a small bowl and letting it cool in the fridge. Once cold, check the consistency. It should flow like runny honey. Finally, let the molasses cool down slightly in the pan (so that the glass bottle doesn’t break), then pour it into a clean bottle and keep in the fridge for up to 9 months.

Pomegranate Molasses

Once you've made something from scratch, you'll never look at it at the same way. It's transformative education. It decodes food labels and their ingredient lists, it qualifies price tags, it makes you appreciate, savour and cherish every bite more. The first time I truly felt this way, was when I baked a successful loaf of sourdough bread. You'll never look back.
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Staples
Servings 150 ml

Ingredients
  

  • 5-6 pomegranates 3kg for 1.4kg seeds and 1l juice

Instructions
 

  • Use whichever method you prefer to juice all of the pomegranates. Here are three options.
  • Method 1 (messy but fast): Cut the pomegranates in half along the equator, then place one half cut side down into your hand above a bowl and use a wooden spoon to continuously whack the back of the pomegranate, letting the seeds drop into the bowl. Fill the bowl with water to let any pith float to the surface and either skim or slowly pour it off, repeating this step with fresh water if necessary. Strain the seeds and transfer them to a food processor. Pulse a few times to break down the seeds, then strain them again through a sieve to catch the juice. Use your hands to squeeze the remaining juice out of the pulp.
  • Method 2 (thorough but slow): Fill a large bowl with water. Trim the top 1 cm of the pomegranate, thereby revealing where the segments of the fruit are. Now use a knife to make vertical incisions along the segments all around the pomegranate. Gently wiggle each segment to loosen it and pull it out. Then hold one segment at a time under water to avoid the juice from splashing while you remove the seeds. The pith should float to the top. Skim or pour it off and repeat with fresh water if necessary. Then strain the seeds and transfer them to a food processor. Pulse a few times to break down the seeds, then strain them again through a sieve to catch the juice. Use your hands to squeeze the remaining juice out of the pulp.
  • Method 3 (quick but wasteful): Roll the pomegranate over the kitchen counter to soften and break up the seeds inside (similar to how you’d soften a lime). Be careful not to burst the skin at this point. When the pomegranate feels soft, use a small pairing knife to poke a hole into the pomegranate. Then squeeze the pomegranate to release the juice.
  • You should end up with around 1l juice. Pour the juice into a sauce pan and remove any foam that might have formed on the surface. Bring the juice to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, stirring it every now and then. You want the liquid to reduce to around 150 - 200 ml. By then it will have darkened in colour, the bubbles on the surface will have gotten bigger and the consistency will have changed to a thick syrup that coats the back of a spoon. Take care not to cook it much further than that as it will continue to thicken a little while it cools down. You can also test it by pouring a teaspoon of the molasses into a small bowl and letting it cool in the fridge. Once cold, check the consistency. It should flow like runny honey. Finally, let the molasses cool down slightly in the pan (so that the glass bottle doesn’t break), then pour it into a clean bottle and keep in the fridge for up to 9 months.
Print Recipe

 

 

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Recent Recipes

Peanut Spread

Peanut Spread

Previously, I've made tofu out of chickpeas, green peas, red lentils, black beans and, the traditional one, soybeans. Which is another way of saying that you can make tofu out of pretty much any legume. If you'd like to know more about this, check out my Any Legume...

Çiğ Köfte (Turkish Bulgur Balls)

Çiğ Köfte (Turkish Bulgur Balls)

Who would have thought that the Turkish Health Ministry would play a part in creating one of the country's most iconic plant-based street food dishes? Çiğ Köfte has long been a staple food in the southeastern parts of Türkiye. However, it is traditionally made with a...

Curry Leaves Ice Cubes

Curry Leaves Ice Cubes

Curry leaves grow in abundance in India and are easily available in most shops for a few rupees. But if you live elsewhere you might find it difficult to source them. The trouble is that curry leaves are an incredibly aromatic and delicious addition to Indian food....

Kenyan Chapati

Kenyan Chapati

These flakey flatbreads are the perfect companion to Ndengu, a rich Kenyan mung bean curry. Although called chapati, it is similar to Indian Laccha Paratha, one of the many cross-cultural influences from the Indian subcontinent that workers brought to Kenya in the...

Ndengu (Kenyan Mung Bean Curry)

Ndengu (Kenyan Mung Bean Curry)

In the 19th century, thousands of Indian workers were employed in Kenya to build a vast local railway network. They brought with them their own food culture and used ingredients and cooking methods to create dishes that felt close to home. Today, many Kenyan dishes...

Hazelnut Tofu (Hazelnut Dofu)

Hazelnut Tofu (Hazelnut Dofu)

Imagine the flavour of roasted nuts captured into a creamy pudding. That's what Hazelnut Dofu is all about. It's inspired by Goma Dofu, a traditional Japanese appetiser that is made with sesame seeds and kuzu starch. But you can follow the same method and turn any nut...

Potaje de Garbanzos (Spanish Chickpea, Potato & Spinach Stew)

Potaje de Garbanzos (Spanish Chickpea, Potato & Spinach Stew)

During my search for traditional plant-based dishes from around the world two themes reappear time and again. Religion and poverty. Both of these have long shaped food cultures towards naturally vegan options. Potaje de Garbanzos is a great example. The comforting...

Coconut Milk (1 Ingredient)

Coconut Milk (1 Ingredient)

Making your own coconut milk from scratch might seem futile. After all, it's easily available in cans in most stores. However, many brands use added thickeners and stabilisers to give the coconut milk a creamy texture that doesn't separate, and even organic coconut...

Ugali (Tanzanian Maize Meal)

Ugali (Tanzanian Maize Meal)

Across the African Great Lakes region, you'll find versions of Ugali. Most parts of Tanzania and Kenya share the same name for it, while it's known as Sadza in Zimbabwe. The Malawian version is called Nsima and was even added to the UNESCO Representative List of the...

Pani Walalu (Sri Lankan New Year Sweet)

Pani Walalu (Sri Lankan New Year Sweet)

Sinking your teeth into Pani Walalu is a textural delight as much as it is a flavourful sensation. Crispy and sweet on the outside, soft and slightly savoury on the inside, these fermented urad dal sweets are an unusual but extremely satisfying treat. They are...

Tahdig-Inspired Crispy Saffron Rice

Tahdig-Inspired Crispy Saffron Rice

Tahdig is a culinary highlight of Persian cooking. Perfectly steamed rice made better by giving it an incredibly crispy bottom layer. Traditionally, it's made with butter and/or yoghurt, but I've always been craving a naturally plant-based version of this crispy rice....

How to Bloom Saffron

How to Bloom Saffron

Measured by weight, saffron is valued more than gold. It takes 75,000 blossoms to produce 1 pound of saffron, and each individual stigma needs to be picked by hand at the prime of its season. Add to the the intense aroma and flavour of saffron and it's no surprise...