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This Middle Eastern delicacy is perfect for pouring, dipping or roasting yet it’s sometimes difficult to find in your local supermarket (although you can find it on Amazon here). The good news is that it’s incredibly simple to make at home and you can make it from either fresh pomegranate or juice! Read on to find out how to make either version in the comfort of your own kitchen!
What is it?
If you’re in the UK you are most likely familiar with treacle, which is basically molasses. It is made from sugarcane which is boiled down to a thick syrup. Pomegranate molasses is a similarly thick and syrupy sauce that is made from simmering pomegranate juice with some sugar and lemon juice.
You can use pomegranate molasses for a variety of things. Some ideas to try include:
- Adding it to some roasted vegetables before you pop them in the oven
- Drizzling it over a salad as a dressing
- Dipping fruit into it
- Using it in cocktails or mocktails
- Add a little to gravy or a sauce, to add extra flavour and depth
Is it better made from juice or fresh pomegranate?
From a taste and appearance point of view, it’s very much better to make it from fresh fruit. Not only do you then have complete control over how much sugar you add to it (some of the bottled juices may have added ingredients) but it also looks more vibrant and deeper in colour. Fresh molasses will give a brighter pink colour, whereas from juice it will look more dull and brown.
However, it is much easier to make it from juice, since you don’t need to go through the step of cleaning and then blending the fruit. Plus, taste-wise it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference, providing you have used 100% juice with no added sugar.
Is it good for you?
Pomegranates are packed with a ton of health benefits. Firstly, they are rich in antioxidants. In fact, they have 3 times more than green tea. They are also a great source of Vitamin C, Potassium and fibre. One pomegranate actually gives you around 50% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C!
This recipe does contain a little sugar, but you can make it without adding the sugar. Just beware that it will be a lot tarter, so it is better suited to use in cooking than drizzling on salads or dipping when made without any sweetener.
How long does it keep?
Pomegranate molasses will keep for 3-4 months when properly sealed in the fridge. Make sure to sterilise the jar first.
To sterilise the jar, wash the jar and lid well in hot soapy water. Then place them in a warm oven until fully dried.
How can I tell when it is done?
The molasses is done when you can dip a spoon in, and it clings to the back of it. You should also be able to run your finger down the back of the spoon and leave a distinct line where you have scraped it (but be careful as the molasses will be very hot and sticky!)
You can easily overdo pomegranate molasses. If overdone it will become very, very thick, particularly when cooled, and not be of pourable consistency. It will also probably turn a less attractive brown colour. If you have overdone it then you can add some boiling water to the pan, a little at a time, and stir until it loosens up. Prevention is better than cure though, and it’s better to remove it from the heat too early and then heat it back up if too thin than try and rescue it after over-simmering. Bear in mind that it will thicken more while cooling also.
For a full list of ingredients with weights and measurements jump to the printable recipe card.
- Fresh pomegranates or 100% pomegranate juice
- Lemon juice
How to prepare the pomegranates (if you are using juice you can skip this section)
For more detailed recipe steps with tips jump to the printable recipe card.
Pomegranate preparation may seem a little intimidating, but if you know how it’s pretty straightforward.
- Cut the top end off the fruit around 2.5cm/1in into the fruit (where you can see the stub from the stem). You should be able to see the distinct sections of seeds/arils. If not, cut a little deeper.
- Use your knife to cut through the skin at the dividing point of each section of arils from the top to the base. You can then pull the pomegranate apart and reveal the arils.
- Pull the arils away from the fruit and put them in a bowl of water. If any are stuck to the white bits of membrane, then gently work them apart. The arils should sink to the bottom of the water leaving any of the white membrane floating on the top. Scoop the white bits from the top and then drain. This step is very important as the white membrane is very bitter tasting so using this in your molasses will affect the taste.
- Place the drained arils into a food processor/blender and pulse until you have a smooth texture.
- Strain the juice through a fine-mesh sieve and press the bits remaining in the sieve with a spatula or the back of a spoon to squeeze out all the juice you can.
How to make the molasses
- Add the pomegranate, sugar and lemon juice to a pan and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer over low heat fro around 1 hour.
- The molasses is ready when you can coat the back of a spoon with it.
Looking for more great sauce recipes? Try:
- Red wine jus
- Red pesto
- Balsamic glaze
- Sugar free sweet chilli sauce
- Lemon and parsley gremolata
- Italian salsa verde
Products that work well for this recipe:
3 Pack Professional Fine Mesh Strainer
Small Glass Airtight Jars
Ball Glass Jars
This Middle Eastern delicacy is perfect for pouring, dipping or roasting. It’s incredibly simple to make & you can use either fresh pomegranate or juice.
The default recipe makes around 2 portions (2 tbsp each).
- 3 pomegranates (around 250g / 8.5oz each) OR 250ml (1 cup) 100% pomegranate juice
- 2 tbsp sugar (see note 1)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
First, prepare the pomegranate (if you are using full fruits).
- Cut the top 2.5cm/1in off the top of the fruit. You should be able to see the sections of the seeds. If not cut a little more off.
- Run your knife along the dividing section of each portion of seeds, from top to bottom. Pull each segment away and break the seeds up and place them into a large bowl of cold water (see note 2).
- Work the seeds in the water to remove the white membrane from the arils. The membrane should float to the top of the water so you can strain them away (see note 3).
- Drain the arils and place them in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you have a smooth texture.
- Strain the pomegranate juice through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing it through with the back of a spoon to squeeze out all the juice you can.
Next, make the molasses (skip to here if using pre-blended juice)
- Add the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice to a pan and bring to a simmer and stir well.
- Keep the pan at a very low simmer. You should only have a bubble breaking on the surface every second or so.
- Leave the pan for around 1 hour, checking very regularly after the first 40 minutes or so. It’s ready when you can dip a spoon into the mixture and it coats the spoon when removed. You should also be able to run your finger down the back of the spoon and leave a clean line when there the molasses was scraped off. It will thicken more as it cools.
- Remove from the heat and allow to fully cool. Double-check the consistency and then decant into a jar. If it’s still a little too thin you can return to the heat. If it’s overdone and too thick then you can try and loosen it with a little boiling water.
- Want to skip the sugar? You can, but it will be more suited to use in cooking than drizzling or dipping as it will be very tart. Want to make it even sweeter? Use double the amount of sugar to make it a little more honeyed for a salad dressing.
- Pomegranate stains, so be careful when preparing the fruit and wear gloves to avoid purple hands!
- Be careful to remove as much of the white membrane as possible as this is quite bitter and will affect the end result.
- Pomegranate molasses will keep for around 3 months if kept in the fridge in a sterilised jar.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Hob / Stove
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 105
- Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 26g
- Protein: 0g
Keywords: sauce, reduction, molasses, pomegranate, fruit, middle eastern, arabic