Meditation on Pomegranates

My favorite thing about pomegranates – a seductive fruit if ever there was one – is that eating them is an activity in and of itself. It’s meditative. Pomegranates force you to take a moment and be mindful; it’s hard to multitask while eating one. You may get impatient and try to rush through, but the pomegranate, messy and playful, will just spit its juice at you.

For times when you get overzealous about pomegranates and buy a few too many, pomegranate syrup is a lovely way to take advantage of the well protected juice of this ancient fruit.

Pomegranate Syrup

Take however many pomegranates you’d like to use and remove the seeds, discarding the white membrane. Put into a pot with some water and boil until the seeds lose their color and pop slightly. I find adding just a teaspoon of sugar helps coaxe the juice out, but I may have made that up. I also added a squeeze of lemon juice, but that is optional. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down on the seeds to push out as much juice as possible. I used two pomegranates and got ¾ cup of juice. Return the juice to the pan and add an equal amount of sugar (in this case ¾ cup; use more or less to suit your taste). Boil until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is the consistency of syrup.

If you keep boiling you can make pomegranate molasses.

I’ve heard that adding a bit of vodka to the pomegranate syrup will help preserve it. I just put it in the freezer (the sugar content will prevent it from freezing). Use it in cocktails (pomegranate syrup is essentially grenadine!) or drizzle over desserts or pancakes.

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