Pomegranate can add flair and flavour to dishes, whatever the course – starter, main, or dessert. Here we’ll show you how to make pomegranate sauce you can use all year round. One that’s versatile enough to use as a salad dressing, a glaze for roasting meat, or simply for drizzling over vanilla ice cream on a hot day.
Pomegranates are one of the most fascinating fruits in the produce aisle. Don’t believe us? Then here are a few random facts about pomegranates:
- The crown of the pomegranate is actually the bottom of the fruit, not the top.
- Pomegranate comes from the Latin, meaning seeded-apple, although in early English the fruit was mistakenly known as the 'apple of Grenada'.
- The word 'grenade' (as in 'hand grenade') comes from the French word for pomegranate.
- Consuming pomegranates is a tradition on the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, as they were once thought (mistakenly) to all contain 613 seeds, corresponding to the 613 commandments of the Torah.
Pomegranates are also very good for your health. They’re rich in vitamins C, E, and K, as well as folate, potassium, and multiple antioxidants. So eating pomegranates regularly can have tremendous health benefits.
And so onto the pomegranate sauce. The easiest way to make this is to start with ready-made pomegranate juice – the kind you should be able to find in most good supermarkets. However, if you like to keep things fresh and don’t mind investing a little extra time into it, we can definitely recommend juicing your own pomegranates.
It’s not just about the bragging rights either. Making this sauce from fresh pomegranates will result in a brighter, more appetising colour than using juice from a carton. So, before we show you how to make pomegranate sauce, let’s quickly cover how to juice a pomegranate. After all, all those little seeds (or arils) might make it a little trickier than the fruits you’re already used to juicing.
How to juice a pomegranate
First, carve out the pomegranate's crown and then open it by scoring it into quarters. Pull the pomegranate into sections and start working out the arils while submerging the fruit in a large bowl of water. This will stop excess juice from squirting everywhere but also has another use, as you’ll soon see.
The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl while the skin and membrane float to the top. Discard the skin and membrane. Now sieve out the arils, blend them, and then finish by straining them into a bowl to separate the juice from the seed fibres.
Pomegranate sauce recipe: steps and ingredients
This easy recipe for pomegranate sauce, also known as pomegranate molasses, should take just over an hour to prepare and yield approximately one cup. It should store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
4 cups pomegranate juice
½ heaped cup sugar
Juice of one medium lemon (approximately ¼ cup)
1. Pour all ingredients into a pot and bring to boil over a medium-high heat. Once the juice starts bubbling, reduce the heat slightly so that it bubbles only gently in the centre of the pot.
2. Leave the pot to simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid sugar sticking to the bottom of the pot.
3. After 45 minutes, most of the liquid will have burnt off. Reduce the heat further still and allow it to simmer for a further 15 minutes or so. Be careful not to let the juice turn brown. That means it’s overdone and it will be too thick to do anything with once it’s cooled. TIP: you can tell the juice has turned to molasses by dipping a spoon into it. If it fully coats the spoon upon removing it then it’s ready.
4. Turn off the heat. Give the molasses 30 minutes or so to cool before transferring to a jar. It should still be runny at this point, but will eventually thicken with time.
Once you’ve finished your first batch of deliciously sweet pomegranate sauce, why not add some extra zest the next time around by making cranberry pomegranate sauce? All you have to do is replace half the pomegranate juice with cranberry juice.
But of course, there’s far more to pomegranates than simply making sauces. We brought together some of our favourite pomegranate recipes here. It’s a list that includes cocktails, salads, and even succulent pan-roasted duck.