Monday, October 11, 2010

Thoughts on Pomegranate

This morning a very sweet co-worker of mine stopped by my desk with a little treat: a freshly-picked pomegranate from a tree in her yard (pictured below). It is probably one of the prettiest little pomegranates I've ever seen between its perfect shape and rich ruby coloring. How lovely! Unfortunately, I can't just rip in to it and devour the flavorful seeds inside due to a very sore tooth situation. I pretty much can't eat anything with more texture than oatmeal. So, I've been sitting here staring at it all morning, admiring it. I started to think... can I bake with this thing?

the home-grown beauty.
You know, due to the pomegranate's unique fruit, I never considered baking with it. I just assumed the little juicy kernels wouldn't hold up to the baking process, or that the seeds would be unpleasantly crunchy. But after some research and food-blog-perusing, I realized that baking with pomegranate is not taboo in the least! I found three examples of yummy ideas. Mind you, none of the below are vegan, so they will take some modification, but that's relatively easy. Also, I'd like to say that I haven't tried these recipes yet, but I plan to!

Pomegranate Pound Cake, from Gratineé

The first recipe I found comes from Gratineé, a blog written by a writer and food enthusiast named Darina. In her Pomegranate Pound Cake recipe, Darina uses pomegranate seeds, lemon zest, and buttermilk to create a "moist" and "surprisingly light" cake. I would veganize it by using soy yogurt in place of the buttermilk, and my usual butter and egg replacers. Darina describes this as a holiday treat, but I'm sure it would be yummy at any time of the year. Especially now, when pomegranates are about to drop off the trees on their own accord! 

The next yummy recipe I found comes from a blog called Coconut & Lime, written by Rachel Rappaport. She describes her pomegranate chocolate chunk cookies as "sweet + tart = delightful cookies." That sounds just about perfect to me! She also talks about how the pomegranate seeds stay in tact, providing moisture and texture. This recipe is super-easy to make vegan, just swap out Earth Balance for the butter. 

Finally, I found a very unique recipe for a pomegranate dessert pizza from The Baking Barrister. The Barrister's version combines pomegranate sauce, mascarpone cheese, and mint on a pizza crust for a tangy and sweet dessert. For a vegan version, I would use vegan cream cheese in place of the mascarpone, and skip the egg wash. Sounds yummy! 

I love searching for new ideas like this. My feeling is that the pomegranate seeds would be great with some vanilla bean flavor in a muffin or scone, and that pomegranate juice would be great in a vegan cream cheese-based frosting on top of a spiced tea cupcake. Got any other ideas?

No comments:

Post a Comment