Friday, 28 November 2008

Crazy Over Pomegranate

Going to the vegetable market has become our weekly routine recently. And other than buying the usual meat and vegetables that could last us for a week, we've been hauling back crates/ cartons of fruits as well!


You might be wondering how two persons can finish cartons of fruits. Well, besides gobbling them down all day long, I've also been trying to incorporate them in cooking. For the past few days, I've churned out a few goodies using pomegranates.


I used the ruby-like seeds to make ice-cream with a recipe I found here....

..... and also made some pomegranate tarts with the crusts that failed shrunk...

But I still can't finish them all. Just when I was trying to look for a recipe that requires the use of the fruit, I chanced upon a recipe by Cafe Fernando. So I made pomegranate jam!

Pomegranate Tart Recipe
(Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours)

Ingredients:
For the crusts
1 1⁄2 cups plain flour
2 tbs sugar
3⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 sticks (10 tbsp.) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 1⁄2 tbs very cold vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces

For the pastry cream
2 cups milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 vanilla essence
3 1/2 tbs unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature

Seeds from 2 pomegranates


Method:
For the crusts:
1) Put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, turn the mixer on for a few seconds to combine the dry ingredients.
2) Scatter the pieces of butter and shortening over the dry ingredients and mix over low speed until the butter is coarsely cut in, you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal fakes and others the size of peas.
3) While the dough is mixing, slowly add 3 tablespoons of cold water, let the dough mix again, then add some more water. Keep going that way until the dough is able to stick together when pinched. Shape dough into a disk, cover with clingwrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4) Preheat oven to 400°F. Divide the dough into 5 pieces. Roll the doughs out on a floured surface. Make sure that the doughs are turned over frequently while constantly keeping the counter floured. Slide the rolled doughs into the fridge for about 20 minutes to rest and firm up.
5) Fit doughs into 5 buttered 3" pie plates; cut excess dough to a 1⁄4"–1⁄2" overhang. Fold dough under itself, so that it hangs over the edge just a tad, and flute or pinch the crust to make a decorative edge.
6) Butter the shiny side of 5 pieces of aluminium foils (the size should be bigger than the pie plates), buttered side down, tightly against the crust and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake crusts for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foils and weights, and if the crusts have puffed, use a spoon to press it down gently. Return the crusts to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Transfer the crusts to a rack to cool.

(Note: To prevent the crusts from shrinking, it's best to weights (pie weights or beans) that are heavy enough to put on the crusts during baking. I tried using rice, as you can read from my previous post, and the crusts still shrank.)

For the pastry cream:
1) Bring milk to a boil in a saucepan.
2) Whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar in another sauce pan until think and blended.
3) Still whisking, pour 1/4 of the hot milk into the mixture - this will temper or warm the yolks so they won't curdle.
4) Whisking all the while, pour the remaining milk, and then put the pan over medium heat. Whisking vigorously and constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
5) Whisk in vanilla essence. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the butter, stirring until they are incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky.
6) Scrape the cream into a bowl, then cover the surface with a piece of clingwrap. Keep it in the fridge until the cream is cold.

To assemble:
1) Spoon the pastry cream on the crusts, top with pomegranate seeds. Sift some icing sugar over the tarts, serve.

16 Comments:

Rachelle said...

Beautiful photos! Lovely recipes. I've made that ice cream in the past, very yummy.
You might try the POM website for lots of other recipes. I'v made their syrup with the juice, and it's really good too. :)

Andrea said...

Wow, everything looks so good! The pomegranate is a beautiful fruit, but your photos make it look even more stunning!

raj said...

the pictures are beautiful! and im planning to make the jam! will let you know how it goes!!

Olga said...

I really like pomegranates. The tarts look adorable: especially because they are smaller than the regular size ;)

aileen :: motu said...

these pictures are really pretty! i esp like the ice-cream and tart ones... they must be delicious!

aileen :: motu said...

btw, i love the little white container you used to hold the ice-cream... ^_^

Food For Tots said...

Luv those little ruby-like seeds on the tart! So mouth-watering! But the ones sold here are not so red. So what are the recipes for melon and grapefuits (or oranges)? ;)

Ingrid said...

This may be a dummy question but what does a pomegranate taste like? My local grocery store has them buy one get one but I wasn't sure about them so I put them back.

Great photos!
~ingrid

Stardust said...

Love the pictures, everything looks homely. Puzzling though, still can't figure out how 2 persons finish all that.

Y said...

All those fresh fruit look so good! Nothing like a slice of melon on a hot day. Don't think I've ever tried pomegranate jam before - I love that deep red colour you got from the jam.

Piggy said...

Rachelle - I didn't know about the pomegranate website, thanks for the info!

Andrea - Thanks! :-)

Raj - The pomegranate jam tastes really good, can't wait to see your version of the jam!

Olga - Pomegranates are really tasty, aren't they? :-)

Aileen - Thanks! The white bowl is from Ikea, you can chk it out if there's Ikea in HK. :-)

Food for tots - yes, the pomegranate seeds are not so red in Malaysia or SG. I didn't make anything out of the mandarin oranges or melons, my hubby and I finished them all!

Ingrid - Pomegranate seeds are very juicy and sweet! You should get one and give it a try, but be careful when you break open the fruit, the juice sacs might burst and stain your shirt. ;-)

Stardust - Haha, well, we just kept eating the whole day!

Y - This is my first time making pomegranate jam too. Removing the seeds from the fruits was rather time consuming but it's worth the effort, because the jam tastes really good!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

How I wish pomegranates were not so expensive here. All of these look lovely. Such a beautiful colour on that ice cream!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Can you advise in detail how to squueze the juice from the pomegranate?

I love to try to cook the jam.

Best Regards & thanks
Esther Ong

Piggy said...

Esther - Thanks for dropping by! I first peeled off the seeds into a big bowl, then placed the bowl into the sink and squeezed by hand. After that, I used a strainer to separate the seeds and the juice. You might want to wear an apron while doing this, or else, your shirt might get stained by the juice. ;-)

chumpman said...

Have to put pomegranate ice-cream and jam under my 'must try' list. The jam looks gorgeous, can't wait to grab it from you, haha

Grapefruit said...

Your pomegranate tarts look beautiful! I'm going to try making these tonight most possibly & will send you a link if I succeed!