How to Juice a Pomegranate

Depending on who you listen to, getting the juice out of a pomegranate can be a messy, daunting task, right up there with hacking open stubborn coconuts with a machete. (see my friend Jaden's very funny post about coconuts)

For example, in my go-to guide, The Produce Bible (a beautifully photographed encyclopedia of all things fruit, vegetable, herbal and nutty) author Leanne Kitchen first warns that pomegranate juice will permanently stain your clothing. She goes on to describe a juicing method, which involves peeling the sectioned fruit while submerging it in a bowl of water, collecting the seeds that float to the top and finally, chopping them in a food processor to collect the juice. Okaaay. Seems like a lot of work.

And the New Joy of Cooking (NJOC) not only includes the method above for seed extraction, but alternatively has you rolling the fruit around on the counter to release the juices, quartering them, picking out the seeds, wrapping them up in cheesecloth and then squeezing the bundle really hard over a bowl.

While I admit that I'm somewhat of a purist - I mean, most sensible people would just go out and buy a bottle of juice - I'm also lazy. I want fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice, and I don't want any trouble, hear? Why make things so complicated?

When I saw a recipe I needed to try - Pomegranate Sorbet in A Passion for Ice Cream, I decided to juice my own darn pomegranates. I also happened to have a lot of them on hand - Costco had flats at a bargain price.

My easy-peasy method is simply to cut them in halves (or into quarters if they are Really Big Pomegranates) and juice them in my electric juicer. No mess, not much fuss. There was a little bit of splashing, but I assure you, no clothing was harmed during the filming of this episode.

I found that 3 pomegranates gave me a generous 2 cups of juice, just what I needed to make the sorbet. The NJOC did say that crushing the seeds can release tannin, resulting in bitter juice; but I didn't find that to be a problem - I must have a gentle juicer.

Pomegranates are in the last throes of their season now - but if you do find some in the market you can refrigerate them for up to a month, easily. Of course, you can make this gorgeous, jewel-colored sorbet with store bought juice, too. Just make sure you buy pure juice without added sugar and other kinds of juices.

Pomegranate Sorbet
adapted from A Passion for Ice Cream by Emily Luchetti

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cups pure pomegranate juice (fresh or bottled)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Whisk together the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Transfer syrup to a Pyrex or stainless steel bowl. Stir in the pomegranate juice, lemon juice and salt. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Scrape the sorbet into a freezer-safe container and freeze until scoopable, about 3 hours, before serving.


Jenny said...

I would have never thought to juice my own pomegranate, but this sorbet looks delicious and healthy, I may just try it!

Nicole said...

I can't believe how much juice you were able to extract using that method! I'm so glad you shared this because I never would have thought to try using that type of juicer! The color of that sorbet is absolutely gorgeous!

Liza said...

Nice pics! My mouth is watering as I remember eating this sorbet,

Anonymous said...

add that juice to a martini and i'm coming over!!! hehe

Karen said...

Jenny, I know it seems kind of crazy to go the trouble, but the juice does have an intense color and flavor, somehow more so than the bottled version.

Nicole, isn't it crazy?! I did have some ginormous fruits, though. Very juicy ones.

Kudos to you, Liza! Thanks for the pics.

Maine626, my thoughts EXACTLY!

janelle said...

I am a HUGE HUGE fan of reducing processes to their most basic steps, getting the job done without unnecessary time/effort/hoopla.

So kudos.

And this is a weird fact re: pomegranate juice, but kinda cool. Summers we spend some time in a very bee-infested area, so we hand some bee traps here and there to escort them away from all of our food. AND pomegranate juice is by far the number one effective bee invitation. Above sugar water, above soda, it is amazing.

Not that I would ever promote killing bees, mind you... just saying.

Deborah Dowd said...

How pretty (and Healthy)This could easily be a Valentine's Day dessert with a couple of chocolate truffles!

valentina said...

I've always thought pomegranate were a nuisance to eat because of the seeds, but you've facilitated the task now!:)

Emiline said...

What a grand idea!
This has to be cheaper than buying POM.
I love pomegranate juice.

Sarah said...

While I admit that I'm somewhat of a purist - I mean, most sensible people would just go out and buy a bottle of juice - I'm also lazy. I want fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice, and I don't want any trouble, hear? Why make things so complicated?

Turns out you're a girl after my heart! Have always wondered what the best way to go about this seemingly onerous task is. Problem solved! Would also be truly fantastic with champagne!

Karen said...

Janelle, the bee juice trap is very interesting - I wonder if yellow jackets would fall for it too. Hmmm...

Deborah, that's sounds perfect!

Emiline, might be cheaper, especially when you get your pomegranates by the case load. Ha!

Hi Valentina - never fear the pomegranate.

Sarah I love the champagne idea! Might just try that now...

Brilynn said...

Gorgeous colour! I want some!

Tartelette said...

This could be the perfect Valentine's day dessert! Looks mouth watering!