How To Make Pomegranate Molasses

Give your roasts a bit of extra tang with this pomegranate molasses. It’s great for dips and sauces, too! Roll up your sleeves. We’re about to get messy.

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses | healthynibblesandbits.comI first came across this thing called “pomegranate molasses” about three years ago when I flipped through the pages of Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day (one of my favorite cookbooks). It was a recipe for Pomegranate-Glazed Eggplant with Tempeh, and the photo in the cookbook looked so inviting. I just wanted to grab a fork and dig in! When I saw pomegranate molasses in the ingredients list, I thought, “What on earth is that?” Mix pomegranate juice with molasses? That doesn’t sound right.

I was about ready to give up on that recipe when I found said pomegranate molasses at an ethnic food store. It was serendipity, just like the movie. The first thing I did when I went home was to pour some out on a spoon and stick it into my mouth (of course). The taste piqued my interest: tangy sweet with a slight bitter finish. For a while, the store-bought molasses and I were going along fine. Toss it with some root vegetables, and all of a sudden, that dish had a new Middle Eastern twist to it.

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses | healthynibblesandbits.comThis year, I used pomegranate molasses for Heidi’s muhammara recipe, but something went wrong. The dip was off, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. My gut reaction was to think that I messed up the recipe. After all, Heidi’s recipes are usually pretty fool proof. Then I tasted the pomegranate molasses. I just wanted to spit it right back out. It was soooo bitter! I completely lost faith in that stuff.

It wasn’t until I when to the PMA Foodservice Conference this summer that I realized there was something wrong with the pomegranate molasses I bought from stores. One of the vendors happened to be a pomegranate distributor, and I asked about my misfortune with store-bought pomegranate molasses. He told me that some companies that manufacture the molasses mix in the rind during the production process, which explains the bitterness I tasted. A good pomegranate molasses should use only the arils.

It was totally an “Aha” moment for me, and I can’t believe it has taken me nearly 4 months to take on this project.

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses | healthynibblesandbits.com

I made a batch over this weekend, and OH. MY. FREAKIN. GOSH. (<— Yes, so good, I had to use “freakin.”) This ruby gold was ridiculous. Pomegranate molasses is indeed tangy, but it should NOT be bitter. It will take a while to make this at home, but believe me, it is well worth the effort!

I may have overachieved a bit by making pomegranate juice from scratch . . .

To juice the pomegranate, we’re going to dig into those ruby globes and rip out the arils. Find the crown of the pomegranate (the part that’s sticking out). (Did you know that the crown is actually the bottom of the pomegranate?) With a paring knife, dig into the part underneath the crown, and make a circular incision around the crown. You’re removing the crown and a bit of the skin underneath it so that the pomegranate is easier to peel later. Score the pomegranate.

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses by @healthynibs How to Make Pomegranate Molasses by @healthynibs How to Make Pomegranate Molasses by @healthynibs How to Make Pomegranate Molasses by @healthynibs

Tear the pomegranate apart into different sections. By the way, the business section of the newspaper is perfect for catching loose pomegranates and stray pomegranate juice. Remove the arils by prying them loose from the peel. Do this step over a medium bowl filled with water.

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses by @healthynibs How to Make Pomegranate Molasses by @healthynibs How to Make Pomegranate Molasses by @healthynibs When you’re done, you’ll notice that most of the seeds have sunken to the bottom of the bowl and the loose membrane will float on the top. It’s okay if some of the arils are floating, too. Remove any stray pieces of membrane, and drain all the water.

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses by @healthynibs

Pour the arils into a high-speed blender or food processor, and purée until the pomegranates look like a smoothie.

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses by @healthynibs How to Make Pomegranate Molasses by @healthynibs

Strain the juice through a fine-mesh strainer. Use a spatula to press down on the purée so that you can squeeze out as much juice as possible.

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses by @healthynibs How to Make Pomegranate Molasses by @healthynibs

Tada! Ruby goodness! I’ve seen recipes that suggest adding more water and sugar, but it tasted fantastic to me without the extra stuff.

How to Make Pomegranate Juice - an easy, step-by-step tutorial + video on how to make pomegranate juice.

MASTERING MY MISTAKES / COOKING NOTES

  • Expect a mess. I squirted pomegranate juice everywhere in my kitchen, and I just spotted juice stains on top of my salt shaker.
  • Don’t wear white clothes. Just don’t.
  • It’s okay to test out the seeds to make sure that the pomegranate is good and ripe. No one’s looking.

Of course, you can skip this whole juicing process and just go straight to the store for some pomegranate juice. I won’t judge, I promise.

How To Make Pomegranate Molasses

Makes about 1 to 1 1/3 cup molasses.

30 minPrep Time

1 hrCook Time

1 hr, 30 Total Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6-7 large pomegranates, enough to yield about 9 cups of arils OR use 4 cups (950ml) of pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup (100g) + 2 TBS sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50ml) lemon juice (about one medium lemon)

Instructions

  1. IF YOU ARE MAKING POMEGRANATE JUICE: Find the crown of the pomegranate (the part that's sticking out). With a paring knife, dig into the part underneath the crown, and make a circular incision. You're removing the crown and a bit of the skin underneath it so that the pomegranate is easier to peel later. Score the pomegranate.
  2. Tear the pomegranate apart into different sections. Remove the arils by prying them loose from the peel. Do this step over a medium bowl filled with water.
  3. When you're done, you'll notice that most of the seeds have sunken to the bottom of the bowl, and the loose membrane will float on the top. It's okay if some of the arils are floating too. Remove any stray pieces of membrane, and drain all the water.
  4. Pour the arils into a high-speed blender or food processor, and purée until the pomegranates look like a smoothie. You may need to do this step in batches.
  5. Strain the juice through a fine-mesh strainer. Use a spatula to press down on the purée so that you can squeeze out as much juice as possible. You should end up with 3 1/2 to 4 cups of pomegranate juice.
  6. Boil the pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the juices boil, reduce the heat to a medium-low. The liquid will look a little bubbly. Let the mixture simmer for about an hour. Stir occasionally to make sure that the sugars don't stick to the bottom of the saucepan. By the end of the hour, you'll notice that most of the liquids have burned off. That's exactly what we want. The mixture will still be runny, but don't worry. The molasses thickens once it cools.
  7. Remove the saucepan from heat, and let it cool completely before pouring it into a jar. Store the molasses in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes .

SHORTCUT: Use store-bought pomegranate juice if you are pressed for time.

CUSTOMIZE IT: If you are concerned about the sugar content, feel free to cut down the amount of sugar in the recipe. I wanted a molasses that was pretty sweet.

USE IT: The molasses is great with roasted vegetables (wherever you would use maple syrup), dips, or sauces!

http://healthynibblesandbits.com/pomegranate-molasses/

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61 thoughts on “How To Make Pomegranate Molasses

    1. Lisa Post author

      I’d definitely go for the pomegranate juice if you want to save money. Fresh pomegranates do cost a bit! Let me know how it goes, Rebecca!

      Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      I also learned after making my own pomegranate molasses that it’s supposed to be a deep magenta color, not brownish…

      Reply
  1. Jessica @ Nutritioulicious

    I’m fascinated by this! Over the summer I made a quinoa recipe from NY Times’ Recipes for Health that called for pomegranate molasses. I only had plain old molasses and figured it wouldn’t make a difference so I have used that everytime I make the recipe. Now I feel like I’m missing out!! Your pomegranate molasses is gorgeous and looks delish. I don’t think i’m up for the time committment involved in making it though. You may just have to start bottling yours!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      I have definitely done the same! I’ve cooked the same recipe with pomegranate molasses and molasses, and they definitely tasted different. I should totally bottle up some of this stuff for you. Early Christmas present?

      Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Thanks, Julia! Sometimes, I skip the pomegranates because it’s so much effort to get the arils out! I need to eat more of it myself!

      Reply
  2. Maggie @HomeSweetJones

    This is utterly brilliant. I usually have to make a special trek to the Persian market for pomegranate molasses and not only will this be more convenient, I know it will be more delicious and healthier because it’s made from scratch. I’m going to try it next week in my Rosewater Pomegranate Chicken. Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Rosewater pomegranate chicken? That sounds amazing! You should definitely post a recipe for that on your blog!

      Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Thanks, Alice! Between taking the step-by-step photos and actually making this, it definitely took me a while, but it was definitely worth it!

      Reply
  3. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    What a creative recipe! I’ve never tasted pomegranate molasses, but you make it sound so decadent and delicious. I love the step by step tutorial for how to get the arils out of pomegranates – I have to admit that i have 4 pomegranates sitting in my bowl right now because I’m too afraid to even BEGIN the task of opening them. Thanks for the tips! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Thanks, Sarah! I get a little lazy with pomegranates sometimes because the juice squirts out everywhere. Hopefully you can minimize some of the mess with these tricks. Oh, you can also pry open the arils under water to lessen the juice squirt-age. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Tash

    Oh my goodness, this sounds amazing! Pomegranate with molasses – or molasses with pomegranate?!!? It would make an amazing coffee stirrer!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Thanks, Allie! Now that you mention it, I should definitely make another batch and bottle it as a gift for Christmas!

      Reply
  5. Maggie

    Wow, I never thought I can make pomegranate molasses at home! I got a bottle from supermarket last year when i visited Turkey. I only cooked with it once and the flavor is not as great as I expected. Really want to try the homemade version some time. It looks much better than the one from the market 🙂
    I didn’t find a lot of recipes online that use pomegranate molasses. Looking forward to more recipe on how to use it 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      I definitely think that the homemade version tastes soo much better. I just made caramelized brussels sprouts with them, but I don’t know if they have it in Beijing. Something worth trying might be roasting eggplant (the Asian kind) and potatoes together and adding a bit of this pomegranate molasses in it!

      Reply
  6. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    Not even kidding you here- australia is OBSESSED with Pomegranate molasses as in- every ‘shique’ restaurant incorporates it somehow. The thing is- you can’t buy it anywhere! Promise I’ll make it when I’m back on home soil.

    Speaking of which- I’m kinda mad we didn’t hang out!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      You have to tell me what you think of the pom molasses!!

      Also, Yes, it’s sooo sad that we didn’t get to meet up! You need to swing by the Bay Area the next time you’re around!

      Reply
  7. Beth (OMG! Yummy)

    Saying hi from SITS! I have another project for you now – make your own date syrup!!! It’s a perfect substitute for maple syrup or honey. Recently I used it, along with pomegranate molasses on a roasted delicata squash that I finished with fresh arils. Love your brussels sprouts recipe! I run a virtual cooking community called Tasting Jerusalem that is ingredient driven – we’ve done pomegranate molasses and date syrup. Come say hi – the group is on FB, G+, PInterest as Tasting Jerusalem or at the hashtag #tastingjrslm on Twitter and Instagram.

    Reply
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  12. Karrie

    Lisa help! I just finished last night and my molasses didn’t thicken up like the picture. I brought itvto a boil and left it on med/high for an hour….? Maybe with my old stove it didn’t get hot enough long enough? Help!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Hi Karrie! The molasses starts to thicken once it cools off. While the molasses is still over heat, it will still be quite runny. What is the consistency of the molasses like today?

      Reply
        1. Lisa Post author

          And how much of the molasses did you end up with when you finished the recipe? About a cup? If you have a lot of leftovers, you could pop it back into your saucepan again over medium heat and add a little bit more sugar (about 2 tablespoons or so), and cook it until the molasses is about the consistency of a thick cough syrup. Then, turn the heat off and let it cool. Does that make sense?

          Reply
          1. Karrie

            Yes….that was my thought…..I’ll heat it up again. I definitely had more than a cup! Thanks and I hope you have a wonderful day. 🙂

  13. Traci | Vanilla And Bean

    In my search for homemade grenadine, I found I needed pomegranate molasses. I googled it and I was excited to find you have a recipe! So, I’ve made it and it smells divine. In the refrigerator it goes to thicken, then I will be on my way to one fresh margarita! Thank you for this, Lisa! So happy to make this from your recipe! xo 😀

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lin Post author

      Yes!! Traci, I’m so glad you tried it, and thank you for letting me know how it went! So glad it worked. Can’t wait to see this margarita! Are you going to post it on your blog?

      Reply
  14. Shera Melson

    After cutting the pomegranate, try getting the arils out by holding them under the water in the bowl. Less mess.

    Reply
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