How To Make Pomegranate Molasses

Have you ever tried pomegranate molasses? It’s tangy and bright in flavor, and it’s easy to make at home! You can use it for dressings, sauces, roasts or desserts!

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses #pomegranaterecipes #glutenfree #vegan

I first came across this thing called “pomegranate molasses” about 6 years ago when I flipped through the pages of Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day (one of my favorite cookbooks, by the way). It found her recipe for Pomegranate-Glazed Eggplant with Tempeh, and the photo in the cookbook looked so inviting. As I read the ingredients list, I saw pomegranate molasses and thought, “What on earth is that?” Mix pomegranate juice with molasses? That doesn’t sound right.

Everything was going fine, until I bought a bad bottle of pomegranate molasses. I noticed something was wrong when I a batch of muhammara (red pepper dip) and wondered why my dip tasted bitter. Then, I tasted the molasses. Instead of a familiar sweet and tangy taste, the molasses had a bitter finish. I later learned that the bitterness could have come from the manufacturers not separating the pomegranate arils from the rind properly while making the pomegranate juice. Because of that experience, I make my own pomegranate molasses from scratch.

It’s actually quite easy to make. All you do is boil down pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, and that’s it. You can use store-bought pomegranate juice to make the molasses. I prefer using fresh pomegranate juice because the color of the molasses will look much brighter (and better for photographs).

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses How to Make Pomegranate Molasses

To juice the pomegranate, we’re going to dig into those ruby globes and separate 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?) Holding the paring knife at a diagonal, start cutting underneath the crown. Make a full circle around the crown and remove it. Score the pomegranate.

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses How to Make Pomegranate Molasses

Tear the pomegranate apart into different sections. Remove the arils by prying them loose from the rind. To prevent pomegranate juice from splattering everywhere (because it will), loosen the arils inside a large bowl filled with water.

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. Remove any stray pieces of membrane, and drain all the water.

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses

Pour the arils into a high-speed blender or food processor, and pulse or gently blend until all the arils have been crushed.

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 How to Make Pomegranate Molasses

Right, we now have pomegranate juice. Onto making the molasses!

MASTERING MY MISTAKES / COOKING NOTES

  • You can overcook the molasses: When I was making the video for this, I wasn’t keeping an eye on the molasses carefully and overcooked it. The molasses turned from a beautiful magenta color to brown. Once the molasses cooled, I ended up with a very thick and stiff substance that was very difficult to remove from the jar and difficult to work with. I ended up throwing it all away. The last 10 to 15 minutes of the cooking process are the most critical, so if you can, try to pay attention then.
  • How to tell when the molasses is done: After an hour, you’ll notice that the bubbles will start to look thicker at more viscous. That’s a good sign. You want the molasses to be able to coat the back of a spoon (see below). I also like to pour the molasses into a glass measuring jar to see how much liquids I have. Once I’ve boiled everything down to about 1 1/2 cups or so, I’ll stop.

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses

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How To Make Pomegranate Molasses

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses #pomegranaterecipes #glutenfree #vegan

5 from 3 reviews

Makes about 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups of pomegranate molasses. Once cooled, the consistency of this molasses should be similar to a runny honey.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6-7 large pomegranates, enough to yield about 9 cups of arils OR use 3 1/2 cups (950ml) of pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

If you are pressing fresh pomegranate juice:

  1. 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. If you want to prevent pomegranate juice from splattering everywhere, remove the arils inside a large 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 pulse until all the arils are crushed. The airls should crush pretty easily. It’s okay if the seeds are not pulverized. 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 cups of pomegranate juice.

Make the molasses

  1. Add the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring everything to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low or low so that the juice gently simmers. I transfer my saucepan to a smaller burner and leave it on the medium-low setting. If you are cooking this on a large burner, you’ll want to keep it on low. You should see the juice lightly bubbling in the center.
  2. Let the juice simmer for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Stirring the juice occasionally helps prevent the sugars from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
  3. By the end of the hour, most of the liquid should have burned off, and you’ll notice that the bubbles look more viscous. That’s exactly what we want. The molasses is done when you can coat the back of the spoon with the sauce. You can also let the spoon (that’s been dipped in the molasses) cool for 15 to 20 seconds and run your finger down the back of the spoon. If you see a clean streak, that’s also an indication that the molasses is ready to cool. The mixture will still look runny, but don’t worry. The molasses thickens as it cools. You should end up with about 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups of molasses.
  4. Remove the saucepan from heat, and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before transferring to a glass jar. Let the molasses cool to room temperature. Store the molasses in the refrigerator for several months.

Notes

  • Shortcut: Use store-bought pomegranate juice if you are pressed for time.
  • Ways to cook with the molasses: The molasses is great for dressings, sauces, drizzles on cakes or roasting!
  • Original Recipe: In the original recipe, I used 4 cups of pomegranate juice, 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice and instructed you to reduce the liquids to about 1 to 1 1/3 cups. Having made the molasses several more times now, I prefer the consistency of what I have outlined above.
  • Making a smaller batch: I once tried a batch with about 2 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, 1/3 cup sugar and about 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and the results looked good. The cooking time was somewhere between 55 minutes to 1 hour, and I ended up with about 3/4 to 1 cup of molasses.

Use the molasses as a drizzle on cakes!

How to Make Pomegranate Molasses #pomegranaterecipes #glutenfree #vegan

*Note: This recipe was originally published in 2014 and has been republished to updated photos and the headnote.

63 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 :D
    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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