Pomegranates. Blueberries. A winter fruit of tricky and a summer fruit of warm nights. All mixed into an ice cold sweet dessert for a new year.
Then zombies. And my favorite kind of meal.
(Two months delayed due to travel.)
Every year for my book club, I host the Halloween event around late October/early November. Each time, the intended focus is the book (usually zombie-themed). But every single year, my creativity takes over me and I JUST HAVE TO make multiple courses of zombie-themed food.
This year, as a result of being fully immersed in an ice cream journey, I thought about how ice cream can be creepy. Blood-red colored surely. (Maybe black? Sesame?) With some kind of topping that is…incredibly gross.
And that’s when it came to me.
As a child, I recall my mom telling me to go to the backyard to break the pomegranates. Eating the fruit is a messy endeavor as each seed (as sturdy it seems on the outside) bursts with so much juice. My mom must have instructed me to wear an apron, lest my clothes be stained by the bright and unwashable colors of the pomegranate.
The seeds are interestingly shaped and encased inside a red package. Aliens bursting from within? Evidence of one’s trypophobia? (I am pretty sure that I have some of that phobia too…) A disease? Symbolic of the Rape of Persephone where she was tricked to eat four seeds?
Additionally, as a winter fruit, the pomegranate made sense as the next flavor to experiment with. With inspiration and the in-house pomegranate juicing technique from Cafe Fernando, I set out to make sorbet based on pomegranates.
Having experimented often with pomegranates in my time, I knew to break them open in a bowl of water, sacrificing a little juice in the process. Unfortunately, my hands are not made for juicing pomegranate seeds. In the end, I found a potato ricer to better suited. I removed the pomegranate membrane in a bowl of water so that only the seeds remained.
Around 2.5 cups freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice – from 8 medium sized pomegranates
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Juice from half of a lemon
2 tbsp Grenadine (optional)
1 cup blueberries
Juice the pomegranates by hand. Note that a juicer is not advised since the taste of seeds and membrane is bitter. One method is to squeeze halved pomegranates in a large bowl in the sink as suggested by Cafe Fernando. However, this proved to be too difficult for me and I used a potato ricer instead, which offered equivalent power (and better leverage).
If too many solid bits remain, strain the pomegranate juice. Squeeze more pomegranates until 2.5 cups of juice is obtained. Set aside in the refrigerator to chill.
Alternatively, store-bought pomegranate juice works as well, but who wouldn’t enjoy a lovely squeeze of pomegranates?
In a blender or food processor, puree powdered sugar, lemon juice, Grenadine (optional) and blueberries until thoroughly mixed. Add the pomegranate juice and blend to combine.
It is possible to churn the mixture immediately (the mixture will be at room temperature if the ingredients are at room temperature), but for better results, chill for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Churn in an ice cream maker based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Serve with pomegranate seeds for an eerie effect.
Written in December 2012