If pomegranates are in season where you are, why not make a molasses? Molasses is a delicious tangy syrup made with pomegranates, sugar and lemon. Molasses has a very unique intense taste and takes a bit of time and patience but well worth it.
If you can’t find lemons you can use limes. I have used white sugar and different kinds of brown sugar and the taste varies but generally any sugar works.
The taste of pomegranates vary as well so the sweeter your pomegranates the less tangy your molasses will be but really, you can’t go wrong. The tricky bit is the timing. I’ve left it cooking too long, thinking that it hasn’t worked, but if you leave it to simmer longer than necessary you’ll get a gooey sticky mess.
Sometimes you’ll find the pomegranates cracked. If they have opened they are good to use, just make sure they haven’t gone off or been ruined by insects.
A handy way to take all the lovely grains (or arils) out is to half the pomegranate, place it over a bowl and tap hard on the the hard outer casing with the back of a wooden spoon. Get some tea towels to protect your surfaces as the juice can stain. The juicer the pomegranates, the messier the process, I’m afraid.
Take out any of the white pith. You should get around 4 cups of arils but this will depend on the size of the pomegranates. Don’t worry if you don’t have exactly 4 cups, a more or less is good.
Molasses has an intense tangy taste. I love to add it to my desserts or why not try my filled pancakes with pomegranate molasses recipe.
But first, here are the instructions for the molasses and what you’ll need.
4 Cups of pomegranate arils (8 pomegranates approx)
1/2 Cup of sugar
1/4 Cup of lemon juice
High speed Blender
small potting jar or other container
- Get a large bowl or container. Cut the pomegranates in half and separate the arils from the pith by banging the back with a spoon.
- Weigh out the sugar and squeeze the juice from one lemon.
- Blend the arils until you can get the most juice from them. This will take a couple of minutes but just to be sure blend an extra minute. I prefer to blend half and half. You will need two bowls if you also want to as you will need somewhere to put the juice from the first batch.
- Place a sieve over the bowl and pour the blended arils into the sieve. With the back of a spoon squash them to get maximum juice. The more juice the better. Throw away what's left in the sieve.
- Place a large cooking pot on the fire and add the juice to it, along with the sugar and the lemon.
- Let it boil for a few minutes whilst stirring and then turn the heat down.
- Leave to simmer, which means it's not bubbling.
- Set an alarm from one hour.
- Check it every now and then and stir.
- While waiting you can sterilise a glass jar pot (I used an empty jam jar) if you don't have one prepared. Here's how; Boil water. Once boiled immerse your glass jar in the boiling water. Turn off the heat. After 3 minutes or so take the glass jar out with a utensil and leave to dry, opening facing downwards.
- When an hour has passed it will still appear liquid, not to worry. Do a test. Stir with the wooden spoon and if there is a coat of syrup on the back of the spoon it's ready. Leave it cooking any longer and it will thicken too much. (Go to notes if the back of the spoon is not coated)
- Let it cool for about 5 minutes but not too long. As it cools it will crystallise and harden. Stir occasionally.
- Pour it into your pot and seal tightly.
- Use or place it in the fridge once completley cooled.
molasses won't go off if kept in the fridge in a tight container. However it will thicken. If you want to regain a lovely liquid syrup just place the jar in a pan of boiled water and let it warm up. Stir once loosened to a smooth syrup. It can be heated, used and placed in the fridge as many times as you want.
You will get more or less one cup of molasses.
Do the spoon test. If there is a thin layer on the back of the spoon it's ready. It will thicken even after the cooking process.
If it doesn't stick to the spoon (by a 'coat' I mean a thin layer) simmer for a further 10 minutes. Do not boil it because the juice will just evaporate. Good luck! xxx