It is pomegranate season again and when I saw some lovely pomegranates a few weeks ago at the farmers’ market, I couldn’t resist buying some. Actually when I bought them, I just bought them to eat them as a fruit or to use them in salads. However, it was the period when I was still working on the book and my husband was cooking most of the time, so I did not have any time for any fancy salads or even to peel and eat one.
When I saw that the days were passing and no one was eating them, I had to act quickly before it was too late, as I hate to see anything wasted. I decided to make them into a pomegranate syrup or grenadine, as it is called.
Pomegranate syrup is delicious. It is easy to make and you can use it in savory and sweet dishes.
The usual way to make the syrup would be to extract the juice first and then make the syrup but that is quite messy. I think my method is much easier because I preferred to follow the method I make spoon sweets (fruit preserves), as I wanted to finish quickly. I boiled the pomegranate seeds with a little water and the sugar. While stirring I tried to squeeze out the juice from the seeds by pressing them with the wooden spoon or if you have a potato masher, that works even better. When it cooled, I then passed it through a thin colander-sieve and squeezed out any remaining juice with the spoon.
If you think it is too much work, I can try and convince you by telling you that this syrup is so worth the effort as it is packed with 3 different kinds of antioxidants: anthocyanins, cyanidins and ellagic acids, which are so good for our health.
I make spoon sweets (fruit preserves) all the time, so I know how to make syrups and used one of my favourite flavourings which is the fragrant geranium leaves. If you simmer the syrup for a longer time (about an hour) until it reduces considerably, then you will get pomegranate molasses. However, I preferred to make the syrup, which needed less time.
Update: 10 November, 2012
This year I decided to make Pomegranate Molasses. My neighbour gave me some of her lovely pomegranates and there are also a couple of trees around the house, which however are abandoned and not watered so the fruit were small and the seeds not very ripe but nonetheless I picked them as the birds started eating them and it was a pity to see them wasted.
Here in Assini, wherever you go you will find pomegranate trees and during our walks I love taking photographs.
I have photographed them in all their phases of growing, from the time they blossom till the time they ripen on the tree.
These yielded 11 cups pomegranate seeds. I put them in a pot with 1 cup water and boiled them for 10 minutes. I set them aside to cool and then passed them from a sieve. (Don’t through the seeds away but mash them in the food processor and use them on your face or body as a scrub, as a friend told me on Facebook).
I measured the juice with water and I had 4 1/4 cups. I tasted it and it was quite sweet but not as much as I wanted so I added 1 cup of sugar. Unless your pomegranates are sour, the amount of sugar to add would be from 1/2 to 1 cup, depending on how sweet your pomegranates are. I added the fragrant geranium leaves and brought the juice to boil, lowered heat to medium and simmered it uncovered for 1 hour, until it was reduced to half. You can see the mark on the pot when it was ready. Just before turning it off, I added the lemon juice.
Pomegranate Molasses Recipe
I use Pomegranate molasses in vinaigrettes, or in marinades instead of using honey, as well as in other savoury recipes as it provides a fruity and tangy flavor to these dishes.
If you google search: “pomegranate molasses kopiaste” or “pomegranate syrup kopiaste”, you will get a few of the recipes I have used it in.
- 11 cups pomegranate seeds which yield 3 1/4 cups pomegranate juice
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 fragrant geranium leaves
Before giving you the recipe for the syrup, I was asked by the Friends of Glass, from Belgium, who noticed that I often use glass jars to store in some of my recipes, if I wanted to become part of a project to promote the health and taste benefits of storing our food in glass. I gladly accepted because making jams and spoon sweets, pickles and sauces all the time, I always recycle bottles or jars from other products I buy. Unfortunately I did not have time to write about it at the time but it’s never late to bring awareness about recycling as this does not only benefit our health in the long run but also our pocket as after the international economic crisis, we have to find ways not to spend our money unnecessarily.
Make a difference: Reduce, reuse, recycle. For every earthy reason don’t waste it!!
Well, I did and guess what? It arrived just the right time when I was preparing my pomegranate syrup!! I was surprised to see on the package written in Greek “This box has NOTHING to hide inside” but also on the bottle and lable a similar message was also written in Greek. It seems that they customized each package in the language of the recipient’s country. Isn’t that cool!!
I got a sauce bottle of NOTHING. However, in this bottle you can store about 350 ml of anyting you like. Just wash the bottle first and then you can use it to store creams, soups, sauces, fresh juices, stock, syrups etc. I later found out that they are giving away 10.000 bottles for free, so if you live in the European Union and want one as well, just follow the link, chose the bottle you like and you can also get your bottle of nothing as well.
How to Make Pomegranate Syrup (Grenadine) from Fresh Pomegranates
- 3 pomegranates ( or 580 grams seeds – or 4 cups seeds )
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 fragrant geranium leaves (or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence or 1 cinnamon stick)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Score the pomegranate the same way you would peel an orange and remove the skin. Separate the pomegranate seeds from the membranes.
- Add the seeds with the water and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for fifteen minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, trying to squeeze out the juice.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Pour the fruit through a very thin metal colander-sieve in another pot or bowl and squeeze out the remaining juice. Discard the seeds.
- Return the juice to the pot again and bring to boil. Add the fragrant geranium leaves and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the syrup thickens and finally mix in the lemon juice.
- Cool to room temperature before bottling, after discarding the geranium leaves.
I’ve tried this syrup on top of crepes, ice cream, waffles, creams, Greek yoghurt, cakes, in milk shakes, in drinks (cocktails), in savory recipes, in vinaigrettes, etc.
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Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!!