Those POM Wonderful folks sent me a case of pomegranate juice to play with. I had tried the POM before, as my daughters raved about having it at friends' houses. I like that this brand is 100% juice, rather than mixed with that diabolical high-fructose corn syrup that you find in so many other "juice blends". Unlike my girls, I find straight POM a bit too tart to drink straight, but love it mixed with other juices or sparkling water.
My daughters kept raiding my POM stash (they love those curvaceous bottles!) so I had to hide the remainder until I had time in the kitchen to think up a good way to cook with them. I had seen several inspiring posts on making pomegranate molasses on the Internet, so I tried my hand at that first.
I took two 8 oz. bottles of pomegranate juice and brought it to a boil in a small saucepan. Then I lowered the heat, but let it simmer merrily for a full hour, until it was reduced to 1/3 cup. It thickened up quite a bit upon cooling.
Next I wanted to try using some of my tart pomegranate molasses in a traditional Scottish dessert recipe, Cranachan, which is basically a rich parfait of whipped cream, toasted oatmeal and berries. One of my gluten-free blogger buddies with a serious sweet tooth, Trav, had recently posted a recipe for Raspberry Cranachan, which I wanted to use fresh pomegranates in, but they are now out of stock and out of season at my local market, so I modified Trav's recipe a bit to incorporate my POM bounty. Here, then, is my recipe for:
1 cup rolled oats (Bob's Red Mill has a certified gluten-free brand)
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup fresh raspberries, washed
4 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. whiskey
1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
2 additional Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
Spread oats on cookie sheet or toaster oven pan and toast until golden brown at 450 degrees F. It only took my oats 7 minutes to reach the right shade, so keep an eye on them and stir them around at least twice during the cooking. Let cool.
Whip cream and sugar together until they form soft peaks. Set aside.
In small saucepan, mix honey, whiskey and 1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses together. Bring to a boil and heat for a minute or so. Let cool.
Fold toasted oats into whipped cream. Add cooled honey-whiskey mixture and blend carefully.
Make sure to set aside some of the raspberries for garnishing the top of your cranachan.
Assemble your cranachans (this makes four servings) by dolloping some of the cream mixture into goblets or wine glasses. Top with some raspberries and a drizzle of the remaining pomegranate molasses. Repeat layers.
Cover and chill for 15 minutes (the oats soak up some of the moisture from the cream and get a lovely soft, chewy texture).
My Pom Cranachans got a mixed review from the Crispy Gang. Husband Dan liked it, but the kids thought the dessert wasn't sweet enough and that the whole experience was like "eating a candle". I guess they don't like oats in their whipped cream confections.
I'm going to use the remaining bits of precious Pom molasses in a barbecue sauce as created on Jill's luminously-photographed blog, Hey, that tastes good!, and then I'll just have to go out and refresh my POM stash. And find a new hiding place!