Looking for a last-minute homemade gift? An edible treat to wow your food-loving friends, and maybe even something seasonal and local? I have good news: you still have time to whip up a jar of luscious pomegranate molasses. This deeply sweet and sour syrup is often found in Middle Eastern cooking and can be used in dressings, glazes, sauces and drinks. It's the secret ingredient in some of my favorite vinaigrettes and it's amazing drizzled on ice cream.
Pomegranate molasses is also ridiculously easy to make from fresh pomegranate juice that you squeeze yourself, buy bottled at the farmers' market, or even at the grocery store. You'll want to keep an eye on this as it simmers on the stove but otherwise it's mostly hands-off so you'll have time to work on other holiday projects or simply catch your breath.
For recipients who aren't too familiar with pomegranate molasses, you might want to include a recipe card with cooking suggestions such as Orange Blossom Panna Cotta with Pomegranate Molasses; Roasted Spiced Acorn Squash with Pomegranate; or Green Olive, Walnut, and Pomegranate Salad.
Makes about 1 cup
3 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
Place the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced to about 1 cup, has a syrupy consistency and coats the back of a spoon.
Cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator up to 6 months.