Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pomegranate Cordial

Cristina from La Cucina di Cristina is hosting both the English and Italian editions of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I've fallen under the spell of Pomegranates.

Pomegranate© by Haalo

It's been a few years since I last posted about Pomegranate - back then I found our local specimens to be lacking in juice. I'm glad to report that the situation has improved. Perhaps the trees are now just that much more mature or they have found the right variety. Either way I'm celebrating this new and much improved pomegranate by making Pomegranate Cordial.

Pomegranate Cordial© by Haalo

Pomegranate Cordial

1 cup pomegranate juice (about 2 pomegranates)
1 cup raw caster sugar
1 cup water
orange flower water, optional

I've written this recipe to give you the proportions of the ingredients so you can easily adapt to however much juice you get from the pomegranates you use.

Prepare the pomegranate:

Place the pomegranate on your bench and placing you palm firmly over it, roll it back forth - you'll hear crunching coming from inside the fruit, don't worry - this is just the membranes breaking.

Cut it in half, hold one half over a bowl and begin to squeeze - the juice and seeds should stream out. If there are some stubborn bits, just use a spoon to dislodge them. Repeat with the other half. Discard any white membrane in your bowl and then strain the mixture and measure the amount of juice you have. It's this measure that will decide how much water and sugar is needed.

Make the cordial:

Place the juice and seeds into a saucepan, along with the appropriate quantities of sugar and water. Put the saucepan on a medium-low heat and while stirring to dissolve the sugar, bring to a gentle simmer. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes or until it has reduced by a third. Let the cordial cool in the pan before pouring it into a sealable bottle. At this stage you could stir through a dash of orange flower water if you like.

You'll know you've hit the right consistency if the seeds are evenly suspended through the solution.

Pomegranate Cordial© by Haalo

You can use this cordial with either still or sparkling mineral water - I used sparkling at the ratio of one part cordial to 3 parts water. If you like something a little more adult, Paalo recommends adding a little vodka - it would also be lovely with Prosecco, especially with those seeds collecting at the bottom of the glass.

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