POM IS wonderful | Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

POM IS wonderful

April 10, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Posted in Dessert, Fruit, Jams/Jellies, Pastry, Pies/Tarts | 61 Comments
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About a month ago, I was contacted by POM Wonderful, the makers of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice, among several other pomegranate products made exclusively from their own orchard grown pomegranates in California, asking me if they could send me some of their pomegranate juice to sample.  Naturally, I couldn’t pass this up, especially since I’d never tried bottled pomegranate juice before, and I LOVE pomegranates.  I use the seeds aka arils quite a bit in my baking and cooking, not to mention they’re a tasty snack that’s GOOD for you.`HOWEVER, pomegranates are currently NOT in season..but we’ll get to that in a moment.

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They sent me a case of eight of the cutest little bottles (see below – coochy coochy coo!) kept cold with an ice pack.  I immediately guzzled one bottle and was blown away by how tasty it was.  Think cranberry juice, but better, with an undertone of plum (according to J), but even better than that.  Hard to explain, but someone had to remove the case from my arms before I drank them all!

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Photo of pomegranate not mine - read below.  POM juice bottles straight from the fridge, hence the lack of ruby translucency of the juice in the bottle.

Here’s the best part – this juice is SO good for you, and that’s an understatement.  It’s loaded with antioxidants which do amazing things for your general health and body, so what did I decide to do?  Yep, that’s right, load it with sugar, eggs, butter and pair it with chocolate and even more sugar, eggs and butter in a crust!  Whoohoo..let’s turn this amazingly delicious and healthy juice into a heart attack on a plate!

Although I used some of the juice to make glazes for chicken, shrimp and pork, this preparation was by far my favorite.  First I checked out the POM Wonderful site to see if their recipes contained anything similar to this because, well, they’ve got what seems like a gazillion recipes for anything and everything you could imagine, using pomegranate juice.  I was originally going to try a noodle kugel, but they’d already done that…WTH??  Then flan, but nope, they’d come up with a great recipe for that too.  After perusing through all of their yummy looking recipes, I realized I would have to go a little bit outside the box.  Yes, just a little, since anything meringue pie or tart(s) – tartlets..whatever.. has been created and covered endlessly in the past two centuries.  That said, I’d never seen nor tasted a pomegranate meringue pie!  How about one with a spicy chocolate ganache layer underneath the curd?  NOW we’re getting somewhere!

pomcollage

Of course there was a little problem to address..pomegranate curd doesn’t set up well without the addition of some kind citrus juice.  Making a PURE pomegrante curd could be possible thanks to the advice from uber pastry extraordinaire, Tri2Cook, with the addition of a little gelatin.  You could use cornstarch, tapioca flour, arrowroot, ad infinitum, but I wanted to stay away from those kind of thickeners…hoping I could do it with just eggs/egg yolks and butter like you would with a basic lemon curd.   According to Tri2Cook, a small amount of gelatin would in no way affect the smooth, silky curd I was seeking, by turning it into a gelee, or even worse – JELLO.  Regardless, I felt I had to add some citrus juice to insure it would set up, but just a little, so the flavor of pomegranate wasn’t overpowered by the citrus (lemon juice in this case).

pomslice

Now that I had my tartlets planned out, I was missing one component, pomegranate seeds!  Geez, when these babies are not in season, trying to find frozen pomegranate or pomegranate seeds is like trying to find a birth control pill in the Duggar household. Unless you order them from POM Wonderful, it’s fruitless (pun intended).  SO, let’s PREEEETEND there are pomegranate seeds maybe in the curd and sprinkled over and around the tartlets for presentation!  We shall call them Phantom Pomegranate Seeds, k?   ‘OH, look at those gorgeous ruby seeds cascading over the meringue in my photos! *wink wink*’  Honest to god, I almost used pink peppercorns in hopes that no one would notice.

Speaking of persona non pomegranata, the lovely photo of the pomegranate above is NOT MINE, because as mentioned above, I didn’t have a pomegranate to photograph.  I found it in a forum and liked it more than others I’d seen.  Unfortunately, the photo was not credited,  as the person who posted it didn’t take it, SO - if this is YOUR PHOTO, please email me and I’ll credit the photo to you.

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I love these tarts.  You get such a bounty of flavors and textures with each bite.  From the top down, you go from melt in your mouth sweet, to silky, crunchy/juicy (Remember, Phantom Pomegrante Seeds!) and tart, to rich and spicy..IF you add cayenne to the chocolate ganache layer.  If not, then we’ll just say rich, dense and chocolatey.  Let’s not forget the crust, so add buttery and flaky to that equation!  If you close your eyes and take a bite, you immediately think ‘lemon meringue’ because of the tartness of the pomegranate, but there’s a much fruitier-berry depth to it, and adding pomegranate seeds would multiply that depth.  Go.for.it.

                 Pomegranate Meringue Tarts with Spicy Chocolate Ganache

Pate Sucree
Makes six 4-inch round tart shells

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup ice water plus 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

DIRECTIONS:
1. Place flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add butter to flour mixture, and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 20 seconds. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolks and ice water until combined. Pour egg mixture through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, with the machine running. Process just until dough holds together, no more than 30 seconds.

2. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide into two equal pieces, and place each on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten into disks. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place six 4-inch tart rings or molds on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pate sucree to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out six 6-inch circles of dough with a sharp paring knife, using an overturned 6-inch bowl as a guide if necessary. Press dough into tart rings; trim excess with a sharp knife. Dock tart shells by piercing the bottom all over with a fork. Transfer to the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.

5. Cut out six 6-inch parchment paper circles, and line rings; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and carefully remove parchment and beans. Return to oven, and continue baking until golden brown all over, about 10 minutes more. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Carefully remove tart shells from tart rings, and set aside.

Spicy Chocolate Ganache

3 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter, cut up
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Place chocolate in medium bowl. Pour heavy cream into heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Pour cream over chocolate and let sit for about a minute. Add cayenne and whisk until smooth. Stir in butter until combined and uniform. Let cool for about 5 minutes.

2. Pour about 2 to 3 Tablespoons of ganache into each tart shell, dividing it evenly. Cover each tart with plastic wrap and let set in the fridge.

Pomegranate curd

3/4 cup POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup superfine sugar
6 egg yolks**
pinch of salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
1 tablespoon POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice
1-2 tablespoons grenadine
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a small heat proof bowl or cup, sprinkle gelatin over the tablespoon of pomegranate juice..let sit until softened.  When ready to add to curd, place cup or bowl in simmering water until the gelatin is completely melted, dissolved and smooth.

2. Whisk eggs, yolks and salt together in a medium sized bowl.
In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, combine juices and sugar. Stir and heat to just below boiling.

3. Temper hot juice and sugar mixture into the yolks and pour everything back into the pot. Over medium heat, whisk constantly and fairly quickly until thickened (temp will be about 160 degrees F, if you’re using a thermometer and it will coat the back of a spoon, enough so that you can draw a line through it with your finger, and it stays).

4. Stir in  melted gelatin and then butter until combined. Strain curd into a new bowl or large glass measuring cup. Stir in grenadine until uniform in color, and pomegranate seeds if using.  Let cool for a few minutes.

5. Pour curd over set ganache in each tart shell, dividing it evenly. Cover each tart with plastic wrap, pressing it on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let set in the fridge until firm.

** If you want to err on the side of caution, add 1 Tablespoon cornstarch to yolks and salt prior to mixing and tempering.

Swiss Meringue

6 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
1. Lightly whisk egg whites and sugar together over simmering water until egg white mixture is hot to touch or a candy thermometer reads 140°F.

2. Pour hot whites into the bowl of a stand mixer or any large bowl if you’re going to mix by hand or use electric beaters. Beat until double in volume and thick and glossy, holding firm peaks that just curl at the tip. Quickly beat in vanilla extract.

3. Spoon evenly or pipe decoratively over tarts. Brown meringue with a kitchen or blow torch or place tarts on a baking sheet in a preheated 375 F oven for about 15 minutes until meringue is browned.

Pom Wonderful sent me a case of their pomegranate juice to sample.  I was not monetarily compensated for this post, and all opinions expressed are my own.


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  1. Wow wow wow, that’s just gorgeous!

  2. Oh…MY! These look fantastic! And to think that the most creative thing I’ve done with POM is make margaritas. (Delicious, by the way, when made frozen with ice cubes made from POM. :-) Did you blow torch or use the oven? I’m guessing torch because the browning is perfection!

  3. Holy mother of a kneeless monkey.. that looks DIVINE. I’ve never tried the juice before either.. but I must purchase some to make these lil tarts.. or maybe one big one THAT I WON’T SHARE. :D

    You always astound me with your creativity.. I wanna be like you!

    Hugs!
    xoxoxoxoxo

  4. Gorgeous!

  5. Wow I am impressed. I have those same bottles staring at me from my fridge. We actually don’t love it straight, but I already know I love cooking with it so I have been waiting for a good recipe to either occur to me or come my way. There is already one on my blog (from before they sent me the bottles), an Indian dish, but A I have made it twice since I started my blog and B it is so not good for you. I am determined to find a new, preferably savory recipe for my juice. Anyway so the point is I am impressed with what you invented. I would never have thought of that.

    And the fact that it looks really, really good does not hurt. :)

  6. I’m still laughing at your comment about the Duggars…I’ll remember that should I ever want to buy pomegranate seeds :)

  7. Those tarts are gorgeous!
    I think I love the idea of pomegranate and chocolate together.

  8. So elegant! I’m impressed with your creativity!

  9. I am duly highly impressed with what you made. It looks like it stepped out of a cookbook for crissakes. Gorgeous!

  10. Great idea! Looks too good.

  11. Oh my gosh! Those look amazing. You are so lucky to get free stuff from POM! Glad you enjoyed my fish killing funniness.

    Elizabeth

  12. I just got my POM juice too! The family really loves it. I never thought of making something with them, but that’s a great idea! Your tarts look deliciously adorable. Love the spiked tops :)

  13. What a lovely tart. Nicely done.
    Michelle
    http://oneordinaryday.wordpress.com/

  14. Thanks so much for the awesome comments, all!

    Laura – The torch, ALWAYS the torch! ;D

    Lisa – We have a huge problem, because I want to be YOU! Freaky Friday, perhaps? LOL

  15. I am more than a little obsessed with Pom! These tarts look so gorgeous. Nice colors and such a creative way to use the juice.

  16. The tarts are absolutely stunning! Great use of your bounty.

  17. Beautiful tarts. I’m not deserving of the title you gave me in the post but I’m glad the gelatin worked out like you wanted it to. I took a look through your recipe page and followed the links, nice stuff. Those white chocolate maple namaimo bars are cool. I’m not usually a fan of nanaimo bars but I think I’m going to give those a try. I’m curious about that “Sugar High Friday” thing as well, is that open to all or is it a private club? It sounds fun. I usually participate in the TGRWT series on khymos.org but it would be fun to have another challenge or two to push me.

  18. Gorgeous….
    we need to taste .. Perfect Lisa.
    If you are still looking for more recipes I can help you,
    we use pomegranate in several dishes.

  19. That meringue looks drop dead gorgeous! We’ve got pomegranates here at the moment. Too bad I couldn’t send you some! :D

  20. Wow do these look great, Lisa! Heck, they’re practically health food since there’s pomegranate juice in them :)

  21. Lisa this is just GENIUS! I love POM wonderful too (got addicted to the stuff a while back and can’t wait to try their POM Mango) but your tarts are really in a league of their own! :)

  22. Wow Lisa! What a unique taste treat your pomegraneate tarts must be!
    Please tell me you have a somewhere bakery and sell them?!

    Yay Yankees! They are having a good start! Can’t wait to visit the new stadium.

  23. Go Yankees……………..FINALLY! Have I mentioned that my Honey is an Orioles fan?! Yeah, you can imagine how miserable I was those first few days! Earlier this week he kept walking around the house with a broom which he eventually put up after I threaten to hit him with it! :-)

    I can’t wait to see the incredible photos of all your bars! :)Now on to those lovely tarts. I especially like the arils sprinkled over them. You’re too funny! You did a terrific job describing the taste of them and of course your photos are terrific.

    Happy Easter!!
    ~ingrid

  24. Happy Easter! These sweet little tarts would be great on the holiday table. I love that juice, too and also made a tart…something that wasn’t in the recipes I saw, but we obviously have shown the way :) I love the Phantom Arils and agree that they would improve the finished product, but your tarts are just BEAUTIFUL! even without them. Chocolate is a great combo with this juice, isn’t it?

  25. I haven’t tried POM yet…just can’t seem to bring myself to buy a tiny bottle for $4! One day I’ll do it b/c I’ve seen several yummy looking recipes with it, including this one. Beautiful meringues!!

  26. Pomegranate meringue tartlets – how good do they sound and look! The photo of the pomegranate seeds bursting out has my mouth watering too …

  27. These look absolutely delicious and I can sooo relate to your need for pomegranate! They are notoriously hard to find in Holland, so it’s very rare that I get to use them in anything…

  28. Very nice combo. I love meringue pie and get tired of only citrus for filling. Way to mix it up. Sounds like something to try with pomegranate.
    I’m laughing that you say that your post isn’t an ad for POM. You are basically shilling their product, the product that they sent to you in the hopes that you would do exactly what you’ve done, no? Since you really like what you made, perhaps it’s not a shameless product plug, but a genuine one? Nothing wrong with that, and it is good stuff after all.

  29. Ingrid – HA, I love that the broom couldn’t be put to use..damn O’s! However, what a horrible loss today. Where was Mo??
    ——-
    Tri2 – You are extremely humble! Trust me, you’re all that and more. I emailed you the stuff about SHF.
    ————-
    Janet – I know that’s exactly what they wanted, but I wanted to make it clear that had I not liked the juice, I wouldn’t have done it, so I consider it more of a recommendation than an ad. In other words, it wasn’t done because I felt ‘obligated’ due to the free sample they sent me. However, I AM shamelessly pumping up my tarts to the 100th degree, although that juice IS pretty damn good..no BS whatsoever.

  30. WOW, just WOW! These tarts look amazing. I love that you figured out how to make a pomegranate curd, and that ganache, oh that ganache, all of it sounds incredible! I want to make this right away. What a unique and fabulous dessert!

  31. Those look fantasic!! I love that meringue, it reminds me of wild, crazy hair, LOL.

  32. The meringue looks fantastic Lisa!

    And can you hit Phil Coke with a baseball bat the next time you see him? I’ll give you two more bottles of Pom ;)

  33. Also, is adding gelatin a must for the custard? Arent the eggs enough?

  34. What a beautiful tart, I love pomegranate too.
    Cheers,
    elra

  35. A&N – Regarding the gelatin in the curd ‘issue’, several pastry chef pals warned me that pure pomegranate juice curd wouldn’t set up like citrus juice curds using only eggs and/or egg yolks and butter, without some kind of stabilizer. The addition of citrus juice would help, but since I only had one shot to make this happen, I didn’t want to chance it, so I used the small amount of gelatin. It had absolutely no effect on the texture and silkiness of the curd.
    —-

    As for the Yanks, Girardi overmanaged, plain and simple.

  36. Oh wow, this looks delicious and aren’t you lucky for getting free samples of POM. I love it and have a glass every morning…although I am yet to bake with it!

  37. Oh these look so absolutely fantastic!! Look at the meringue! Awesome :-)! And … I love pomgranate :-)!

  38. Yes, that you liked it really came through. That stuff is really wonderful, I agree. A genuine recommendation indeed!
    Can’t wait to try the tarts.

  39. Are you beating your head in? Joe is unbearable. His O’s came back yesterday to win 10 to 5 & of course I get the, hey, how’d the Yanks do?” It’s going to be a looooong season at this rate! I can only tell him so many times, win or lose, I love my Yanks which he hates before I want to bash him over the head with a blunt object. ;-)
    ~ingrid

  40. Those look simply outrageous!

  41. These tartlets certainly look mighty scrumptious! What a great idea!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  42. Pomegranate tart…never imagine it! Love it! Your pictures are great! Congratulations!

  43. Those ARE beautiful! Love the meringue.

  44. Wow this is beautiful I can only imagine how yummy this is. Thanks for sharing.

  45. Those pictures belong in a cookbook! Stunning! I will bookmark this for when we have a company, I think those are a must.

  46. Thank you for the lovely comment on my lavender macarons. Your tarts are absolutely stunning, too. Very creative flavours and presentation. I love pomegranate but don’t come across it often. I may need to hunt some down.

  47. OMG, those are the most good looking tart I’ve ever seen so far! Glad you like the POM, I’m lucky here I can find pomegranate all year round :)

  48. Wow, these tarts are absolutely stunning! That meringue is definitely the “icing on the cake”- Lovely!

  49. That’s the best use of POM I’ve seen yet. Simply delicious!

  50. I love this! Pomegranite curd… fabulous idea!

  51. A stunning idea! A thought, perhaps, on the curd… since chemically there is no reason why the citrus is required for the curd to set properly it might be of benefit to attempt reducing the POM Wonderful (thus concentrating its pomegrante-y loveliness!) and allowing you to add less liquid to your eggs and butter. I would also give a shot at using regular granulated sugar but dissolving it in the POM Wonderful as it is reduced to create somewhat of a POM Wonderful simple syrup, removing the grenadine and gelatin from the equation and using three whole eggs as opposed to six yolks. Perhaps my suggestions are unwelcome or out of line, but I feel these alterations may correct your setting issues and maintain the integrity of the pomegranate flavour.

  52. Daniel – Your suggestion is more than welcome! I had one shot to do this so I didn’t want to take any chances and played it as safe as I could. I LOVE your suggestion, and will try it ASAP! I had thought of reducing the POM juice with sugar, but again, I had to proceed with caution – which is almost sinful in the culinary and pastry arts! Thank you so much for your incredbly helpful and knowledgeable advice, and when I do try your method, I’ll blog it :)

  53. Hey guys, the Yankees have finally started to put a little streak together. 2 wins in a row…hurray!!! But the new ballpark is a joke! you sneeze and the ball clears the right field! are you kidding me??? It was nice to see Damon launch one into the 2nd deck for a change.

    I think we are missing A-Rod very badly. The bottom of the order looks very poor. Matsui is banged up again and Nady’s injury isn’t helping things either. But my BIGGEST concern is the bullpen. I am going to buy a defibrillator and keep it right next to me every time they come to pitch! But its nice to see Andy pitch well and AJ seems to be kickin’ some butt. Tex kind of started slow but he is starting to heat up now. That’s good news!

    I hope Hughes can join the rotation and Joba can bolster that pen. That would be AWESOME! I dont think he will make a good starter. Hopefully we head to Fenway on a winning streak.

    Go Yankees :)

  54. Thats so funny. I read that comment mother of a kneeless monkey and I knew it was Lisa, crack me up.

    Those meringues are unbelievably prefect. I so would love to bite into one of those. You lucky duck. I need that POM. I really need that POM. I’m chanting here.

  55. What a great elegant desset. I need to post my POM recipes too. The piping on the meruingue is beautiful.

  56. I love the idea of chocolate, pomegranate and meringue, and in tarts!! Beautiful shots Lisa :)

  57. Stunning to look at and no doubt delicious to eat!

  58. Truelly beautifull cheesecake and wow, all those flavours must be heaven.

  59. WOW this sure is gorgeous! my first time here..n love all that you do in ur kitchen…even the strudels…bbq one looks inviting.
    :)

  60. [...] the powdered sugar with lavendar. For the filling, I used a pomegranate curd recipe that I found on LisaMichelle’s website. Sadly, as you can see from the photo above, my first batch came out miserable – [...]

  61. [...] I was able to find another recipe that has just the kind of effect I’m looking for, as long as I can replicate [...]


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