Instructions and tips for making the best pomegranate molasses you've ever had with 3 ingredients and an optional spice + ways to use this Middle Eastern ingredient.
When you live in a small town, with limited grocery stores, it's good to know some work-arounds when you need special ingredients. Case in point, I needed some pomegranate molasses for a pomegranate glazed hasselback butternut squash recipe I'm making next week. I searched high and low, and couldn't find any without driving nearly 75 miles, round trip, to Reno.
So I had to make my own pomegranate molasses.
There are oodles of recipes on the internet, so google came to the rescue. Some recipes call just simply reducing pomegranate juice, without adding anything else. Many suggest adding sugar and lemon juice. I took it one step further.
One of the advantages of making your own pomegranate molasses is that you can tailor to your own tastes. Add a couple cinnamon sticks, cloves, or cardamon seeds, if that's what pulls you into the kitchen. Infuse it with fennel seed. Or do what I did, and add whole allspice and peppercorns. The point is, take advantage of the fact that you're making it your way.
Tips for Making Pomegranate Molasses
- Start with pomegranate juice. Make your own from pomegranates, or purchase a bottle of juice. Obviously, the freshest approach is to make your own juice. I don't have that kind of time in my life right now, so I picked up a bottle of Pom Juice.
- Use a heavy bottomed pot to help prevent burning on the bottom surface.
- Start with medium heat to get the juice simmering, and immediate reduce the heat. It's important to keep a simmer going, but not a full-out boil. As the juice reduces, reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer. Don't leave the pot completely unattended, as the simmering can quickly come to a boil as the juice reduces. I had to throw away my first batch because I got distracted and it got away from me. It looked like a science project gone horribly wrong.
- Don't over-reduce the juice, as it increases the likelihood of burning. This makes the molasses somewhat bitter. Keep a close eye on the molasses in the final 10 - 15 minutes of reducing.
- Leave the pot uncovered so you can easily track the progress.
- Simmer for 60 - 70 minutes, and allow to cool for 20 minutes before The juice should reduce from 3 cups to about ¾ cup.
How To Know When It's Molasses
- The bubbles will be small, and tightly focused in the middle of the pot.
- The liquid is more viscous and should coat the bottom of a spoon.
- Don't worry that the molasses is still fairly liquid. It thickens as it cools.
Ways to Use Pomegranate Molasses
Drizzle over Brussles sprouts or winter squash, such as butternut squash.
Add a splash to soups.
Mix with a little orange juice and club soda for a festive non-alcoholic drink.
Stir into BBQ sauces, vinaigrettes or chocolate sauces.
Baste carrots and roast them.
Dress up desserts by adding pomegranate molasses to cookies, cake, custards, cheesecake. Or drizzle over ice cream.
How to Make Pomegranate Molasses
- 3 cups pomegranate juice, I used Pom Wonderful
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 8 whole allspice berries, optional
- 4 whole black peppercorns, optional
- Combine all of the ingredients into a heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, leaving the pot uncovered. Simmer for at least 60 minutes, lowering the heat as the liquid reduces.
- Check the pot frequently, particularly in the final 15 minutes of cooking to ensure it doesn't burn on the bottom. Stir occasionally, as needed.
- Check for doneness. The molasses should coat the back of a spoon, and appear viscious. Tiny bubbles will be softly bubbling in the center of the pot, tightly spaced together. Use the photo in the body of the post as a reference.
- Cool for 20 minutes, strain out any spices you choose to use, and pour the molasses into a glass jar. Refrigerate for up to 6 months.