It is pomegranate season in South Africa and when I see these ruby beauties appearing on the fruit shelves at my local fruit shop, I get all excited and feel like a little child again! I can’t wait to get home and to just break open one of them and eating those sweet pips, feeling them bursting in your mouth and with each bite there is this sweet and tart flavour explosion in your mouth. South Africa is a major pomegranate producer and our fruit is exported to the Middle East, Far East and Europe mainly. Fortunately a small quantity reaches to the local market, so when you buy them in SA, you can be assured that you will be supporting a local farmer somewhere in our beautiful country. And as a bonus they are dirt cheap this year, R4 for one very large (250-300g) pomegranate.
Im love making a sorbet from the arils as they lend themselves so well to be a sorbet and here is my marvellous pomegranate sorbet recipe with brûleé pistachio rice paper. The crispy crunch of the rice paper and burnt sugar mixed with the aromas of the cardamom and pistachio makes this just such a pleasant dessert to eat after a heavy meal as it is light. I like to serve it as a simple dessert on its own, no frills and fancy tarting up. Or as in this recipe you can really go all out and dress it to impress your guests. However you serve it, it is just pure pomegranate enjoyment on your dessert plate and it is always a winner with my guests.
You’ll need for the Sorbet:
- 3 large pomegranates (250-300g each)
- 500ml water
- 75ml Castor Sugar
- 175ml De Krantz Pink Port
- 3 cardamom pods crushed
- 1 ml Coarsely grounded Black Pepper
- 1 Ice Cream Machine
You’ll need for the Brûleé Rice Paper:
- 2 Rice Paper Sheets
- 30g Pistachio Nuts
- 80ml Castor Sugar
- 1 Kitchen Blow Torch
To make the Sorbet:
- Follow the normal instructions to freeze the bowl of your ice cream machine.
- Remove all the arils (pomegranate seeds) from two of the pomegranates. In a large pot add the water, castor sugar, cardamom pods, black pepper and 125ml of the pink port and all the pomegranate arils. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down for at least an hour before you proceed to the next step.
- Pour the sorbet mix into a liquidiser and liquidise for about a minute or until you are sure all the arils have been crushed to release their juice. Pour the juice mixture over a bowl through a fine sieve using a soft spatula to press all the juices out of the seeds. Discard the seeds. You should have now about a 800 – 1000ml of sorbet mixture. Allow to cool down in the refrigerator for about 8-12 hours before you churn the mixture in your machine.
- Once cooled, transfer the sorbet mixture to your machine and churn for about 30 minutes or until it has reached that soft slush stage. Once at this stage add the remaining 50ml of the Pink Port, churn another 5 minutes and transfer to a freezing tub and freeze in the fridge for another 5-6 hours before serving.
- Place your plates (4-6 depending on how many guests you’ll be serving) with the sorbet in the fridge now as you really need cold plates for this dessert.
To make the Brûleé Rice Paper:
- Cut eight 6x6cm squares of rice paper. Place them on a baking tray.
- Put the pistachios with the castor sugar in the coffee mill attachment of your food processor and blend it on high-speed until the pistachios and sugar has blended together to form a fine light green sugar.
- Use a tea sieve and liberally dust each rice paper square with the pistachio sugar. Once nicely coated use your blow torch and literally burn the sugar mix on each piece of rice paper. Remember it is paper so be careful not to heat the paper too much as it will catch fire and burn up.
- Once all eight papers have been burned it is time to start plating up.
To plate up:
- Remove the seeds from your third pomegranate and set aside to sprinkle onto each plate.
- Remove your plates from the fridge and dust each plate well with the remaining pistachio sugar.
- Place one rice paper square in the middle of the plate and one scoop of sorbet.
- Place your second rice paper square onto the scoop of sorbet and onto that another scoop of sorbet.
- Sprinkle with pomegranate arils and serve immediately.
If you like your sorbets and ice creams, here is totally new flavour (Olallieberry) to me and a lovely recipe from love and cupcakes.