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Monday, March 16, 2009

Flavor of the Month: POM Wonderful Pomegranate Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

pom-icecream-caption

Okay, so I know that I missed doing a Flavor of the Month entry last month. Unfortunately, I was still stuck in that damn ankle cast at the time and I couldn't really get around yet, so I had to skip it. Thank goodness the ankle has healed up nicely and I'm back in business. It will still be a few more months before I can get back out on the tennis court, but at least I'm mobile again!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by POM Wonderful about sampling their 100% Pomegranate Juice. I'd seen the juice at the supermarket many times, but had never tried it before. So, I gratefully accepted the offer and did a little research.

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It turns out that pomegranate juice is not only a tasty drink, but boasts many health benefits as well. Pomegranate juice is loaded with antioxidants - about three times more than are found in green tea or red wine. Antioxidants help to guard the body against the substances that can cause premature aging, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and lots of other diseases or health conditions.

POM guarantees that their product is 100% authentic pomegranate juice with no sugars or other additives. They grow, juice and bottle all of their own fruit. There are no middlemen. And, POM's juice is made exclusively from the Wonderful variety of pomegranates, which is considered to be the best of over one hundred different varieties. Another great thing about POM is that theirs is the only pomegranate juice guaranteed to come exclusively from fruit grown in their own sunny Central California orchards.

Within a week, a case of cute little bottles of pomegranate juice arrived. I drank one chilled over ice and I really liked it. That juice was good stuff! Then, I started thinking about some different ways to use it. Since I was also trying to decide on an ice cream recipe for this month's Flavor of the Month, the two ideas converged and this Pomegranate Chip Ice Cream was conceived.

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I had never made an ice cream base using just juice as a flavoring ingredient before. I was worried that the ice cream might not set up properly, or that it might be icy. So, I decided to reduce the juice with sugar and turn it into a thick syrup before I added it to my other ingredients. Making a pomegranate syrup is super simple. All you do is mix the juice and sugar with a little lemon juice, bring it to a boil and keep it simmering until it reduces to the thickness you want.

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Once my POM juice had reduced into a lovely, thick, intensely flavorful syrup, I let it cool to room temperature. Then, I prepared the base for the ice cream using the syrup, cream, milk and cornstarch. Once the ice cream was churned, I stirred in the chocolate chunks and a few tablespoons of pomegranate liqueur. I did this not only for extra flavor, but also to keep the ice cream from getting too hard in the freezer. If you don't have access to this liqueur, you can use another flavored liqueur or plain vodka. You can also leave it out entirely.

The end result was an ice cream that was very creamy and smooth, although the pomegranate flavor was not as pronounced as I thought it would be. It certainly didn't have that sharp tang that the juice had. Perhaps, it would have retained more of its bite if I had made a frozen yogurt instead. I liked it. It just wasn't exactly what I was expecting. The bittersweet of the chocolate chunks played well against the mellow, laid back fruitiness of the ice cream. I think I would consider this ice cream one for the grown ups. It didn't have that "in your face" sweetness that many ice cream flavors have. It was subtle and sophisticated. Perfect with a cup of after dinner espresso.

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POM Wonderful Pomegranate Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream (Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

2 cups bottled POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pomegranate liqueur such as PAMA (optional)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks

Directions:

Combine pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar has completely dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, or until juice has reduced to about 1 cup. It should be the consistency of syrup.

Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat to warm it up. In a bowl, whisk the cornstarch and cream together until smooth. Add cream mixture to the saucepan and stir. Heat while stirring until mixture begins to boil.

Remove from heat and continue to stir for a few minutes. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let cool for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to release the steam. Stir in the pomegranate syrup and salt.

Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, until well chilled.

Once chilled, freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

When ice cream has finished churning, scoop it into an airtight freezer container. Stir in the liqueur, if using and the chocolate bits. Freeze until desired firmness is reached.

Makes approximately 1 quart.

Enjoy!

Past Flavor of the Month entries:

Toasted Coconut-Sesame Brittle Ice Cream

Here are some other great recipes using Pom Wonderful:

Pomegranate Lamb Tagine with Preserved Meyer Lemons from No Recipes

Pomegranate Glazed Pork Chops from the Adventures of Kitchen Girl

Pomegranate Palmiers from Cakespy

Cornish Game Hens with POM Pomegranate Glaze from Fotocuisine

Pomegranate Lemon Panna Cotta from Use Real Butter

Pomegranate and Blood Orange Sorbet from The Recipe Girl

45 comments:

Maria said...

Great photos and great ice cream creation! I bet it was SO delicious!

Nina Timm said...

Do you think you ould have more pomegranete flavor if you hadn't cooked the juice? I love the color or this ice-cream. Only for adults...why not????

Bellini Valli said...

This is definitely eye candy for me Susan.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What an unusual combination of flavors! This ice cream looks fantastic!

Cheers,

Rosa

Sophie said...

MMMMMMM....I love those combinations!!! Yum yum:)!!!

5 Star Foodie said...

What a great idea to create a pomegranate flavor ice-cream. I'm going to do that too with my left-over Pom samples!

onlinepastrychef said...

Mmm, sounds good. You were so right to reduce the POM juice--you made intuitive "pomegranate molasses!" Love the idea of the Pom w/the chocolate. Maybe for more tang, make pom sorbet and swirl it together w/your ice cream?

Snooky doodle said...

wow what a nice photo and the ice cream looks delicious ! I ve never heard of pomegrate juice. I d like to find it :) looks good :)

Maryann said...

Hey Susan! I LOVE your photos!

Kathy - Panini Happy said...

I'll bet you could mix some great drinks with that pom syrup you made! Nice. Do you have Red Mango where you live? They've got a very tasty POM frozen yogurt, nice and tart!

helen said...

Beautiful, Susan! I am this close to licking the screen...

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I am salivating looking at that ice cream! OMG! So good!

Aimée said...

I want a poster of that first photo! So gorgeous!

Esi said...

I am obsessed with pomegranate and since I got an ice cream maker, I am now obsessed with making ice cream. This mellow pom ice cream sounds really delicious.

Foodess said...

Gorgeous photo with the ice cream in the scoop!

I've never made an ice cream with cornstarch as a thickener, and no eggs. How is it different?

The TriniGourmet said...

What a winner! I love pomegranate juice so will definitely give it a try. Great photography too :)

Rasa Malaysia said...

Y-U-M-M-Y. I can eat this winter, spring, fall, and definitely summer. :)

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

You guys are so sweet! Thanks for all of your great comments! I'm so happy that you liked my Flavor of the Month! I'm also excited to see that you all liked the photos too. I was feeling a little "artsy" this morning. It is so hard to get crisp pictures of ice cream!

Nina- Cooking the juice with sugar definitely had something to do with it. I didn't know if it would turn out the right consistency if I just used the juice, though.

5 Star Foodie- Yes! Definitely try this with the rest of your samples. I have some extra syrup and I'm going to use it to glaze a pork tenderloin.

onlinepastrychef- I'm going to make some frozen yogurt with it next. I'll bet that the tangy yogurt will play well with the pomegranate.

Maryann- Thanks! That means a lot coming from you! :D

Kathy- You are so right. I mixed a spoon of syrup with some selzer water and it was awesome. Hmmm...Pometini, anyone! ;)

Esi- MAKE IT! ;)

Foodess- I make my ice cream this way a lot, especially fruit based ones, where I don't really want a "custardy" flavor. The cornstarch thickens the base up really nicely, yet keeps it light.

MaryBeth said...

I seriously must get me a ice cream maker...I love the picture of the ice cream in the scooper.

Simple Simon said...

I'd like to dive into that glass of pomegranat syrup. You take lovely photos.

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

Oooh this sounds so good!! I made Nigella's no churn POM ice cream before. I wish I had an ice cream maker though. :)

Brilynn said...

I've got some POM on it's way to my house, I think I'm going to this a try using frozen yogurt, sounds like it would be great!

Passionate About Baking said...

Just gorgeous...what a great idea. And an adult ice-cream at that...yum yum!

pigpigscorner said...

Wonderful pictures. Great creation!

Sara said...

This looks great Susan. I am waiting for my box of juice to arrive from them. I will have to try this recipe out. :)

Debbie said...

Pomergranate ice cream with chocolate - sounds like heaven to me!!!

spike. said...

That sounds great. Just replaced my old ice cream maker with a fancy new one so I'll definitely be trying this recipe!

anna said...

I love pomegranate! I've bought pomegranate-chocolate chip ice creams in the past and have found that they aren't terribly tangy. Could you perhaps even do a swirl of the syrup in the ice cream? I can see myself just using extra syrup on top of the ice cream, but I REALLY love pomegranate.

Your photos are definitely great in this post - especially that first scoop shot. And the one of the syrup oozing into the glass is nearly sexy!

Karen said...

OMG those photographs are so beautiful! The color of the ice cream is lovely.

jennifer (styleandsyntax) said...

i (heart) pomegranates...and ice cream...and chocolate chips. this recipe looks like a must-do! thanks for sharing it!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I've always wanted to try pom ice cream, but never got around to it. This sounds delicious and I am smitten by those photos--beautiful work!

Stephanie said...

No words other than wow.

Kevin said...

That Ice cream looks good! There are so many great sounding Pomegranate recipes around these days. I am going to have to get into Pomegranates more.

Linda said...

Wow, that ice cream looks AMAZING!!! Now, I'm inspired to use the POM juice for something other than a mixer for cocktails.

Elyse said...

That ice cream looks fabulous. What a creative way to use that Pom Wonderful. I totally want to try some pomegranite juice now!

Tangled Noodle said...

All the superlatives have been used up by the above commenters so all I can say is 'Ditto!' This ice cream is all of the above!

Chez Us said...

OUTSTANDING PHOTOS! You really captured them beautifully. You are making me hungry ... I want to lick that scoop clean.

WE love pomegranite, will have to try this out. Thanks for a great recipe!

we are never full said...

it seems as though POM is getting thru all the great food blogs recently! i received mine and haven't had time to create anything with it yet. i need spring to come to get inspired w food again. maybe i'll just steal this beautiful idea? i love your syrup. beautiful photos!!

Brittany (He Cooks She Cooks) said...

Good idea making the syrup. I had an icy texture problem when I made a dark cherry chocolate chunk ice cream awhile ago.

Also, I've been looking into joining the Foodbuzz featured publisher program. Has it been helpful for you? Do you recommend it?

Laurie said...

Oh my gosh.. the picture of the ice cream scoop with the black background is stunning! Magazine quality.. :)

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Wow great photos Susan! I especially like first one of the perfect scoop. I have a couple sets of those bodum glasses too and I love them, but they keep breaking on my. Last night I stupidly tried muddling mint and crushed ice for a mint julep and muddled right through the bottom of one of them.

Lisa said...

Beautiful job and it looks amazingly creamy and delicious! I came up with a recipe myself, but I need actual pomegranate arils along with the juice, and I cannot find pomegranates anywhere because they're out of season. I noticed you have one in your photo, where did you find it?? :)

BTW, I LOVE your blog, and your photography is off the charts!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Lisa- Sorry to say that I haven't seen fresh pomegranates around here for at least a month. What I have been seeing are pre-packaged fresh pomegranate arils. They keep them in the produce section. I found them at Publix, but I'm sure they are at other markets as well. If you don't see them, ask your produce guy.

P.S. So glad that you enjoy the blog (and the pics)! :D

heidileon said...

beautiful and delicious!! I want POM!!

Julia @ Mélanger said...

Congratulations on your DMBLGiT award! Beautiful shot.