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Nov 20, 2009 10:20 AM

Help with Homemade Pomegranate Sorbet

I would like to make a pomegranate sorbet for an upcoming dinner I'm hosting (it's both light and seasonal, and doesn't require an ice cream maker).

Anyone have suggestions? I'm planning on following this basic recipe

but what worries me is that I think pomegranate juice is a good bit sweeter than lemon--does the quantity of sugar need to be reduced?

Also, I've heard that cardamom is a good complimentary flavor to pomegranate and I'd like to incorporate it in some fashion--any suggestions?

Finally, if anyone has simply a straight recipe for what I'm looking for (rather than suggestions for modifying the above) I'd take that as well.

I need to make this tomorrow so anything you can tell me would be helpful.


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  1. Not sorbet, but this Nigella Lawson pomegranate sherbet gets good reviews:

    Good luck!

    1. I have never made pomegranate sorbet, though do have a recipe from one of my ice cream cookbooks. It calls for 3 cups pomegranate juice, 3/4 cup sugar, and juice from 1/2 lime. Heat the juice, dissolve the sugar, cool, add lime juice, and freeze. Obviously, I haven't tested this recipe, but it might help you with proportion of sugar to juice.

      1. I don't know how much trouble you want to go through, but if I were making this, I wouldn't want the pomegranate flavor to be challenged by the lime. From reading the reviews of the lemon sorbet, it seems like sour citrus and the necessary sugar to counteract the tartness produces an end product that's a litte overpowering. With lime, you might be barking up a similar tree.

        If possible, I would want a clean, pure, not too sweet pomegranate flavor.

        When making sorbet, dissolved solids, especially dissolved solids that lower the freezing point of the solution, are your friend. Sugar isn't just in these recipes for flavor, it's there for texture. The more sugar you add, the softer the sorbet. That's why these recipes add lime. Lime's tartness allows the addition of plenty of sugar. Plenty of sugar will give you the proper consistency when frozen. Pomegranate by itself wouldn't have the necessary tartness to require much extra sugar. Without the extra sugar, you'd end up with a sorbet as hard a rock.

        There are ways, though, to lower the melting point but not add additional sweetness- glucose/glucose syrup. Glucose has only about 30% the sweetness of sugar. It will give your sorbet the perfect texture without too much sweetness. With glucose, you won't need any lime at all.

        Xanthan gum is also a very effective ice crystallization inhibitor (more dissolved solids=smaller ice crystals=smoother texture). I would try to find glucose first, though and use xanthan gum along with it, rather than xanthan alone.

        Finding glucose can be tricky, but once you have it, I'm sure a glucose based pomegranate recipe could easily be found. That's how a lot of the pros do it.

        Or... you might be able to forgo the chemistry, let this freeze hard as rock and possibly shave it before serving.

        Just throwing it out there :D

          1. re: Emme

            Emme's mention of rum jarred my memory. If you're serving this to adults that drink, alcohol is another great 'anti-freeze.'

            1. re: scott123

              You could use vodka or pomegranate liquer instead of the rum too.

              I know that you don't want to get an ice cream maker, but I did make the Pomegranate gelato recipe on Epicurious, and it is delicious. One problem that several reviewers seemed to have was the color turning more brown than pink. Didn't seem to be a problem for people using POM juice.

              Epicurious also lists a recipe for pomegranate tangerine sorbet. That may add the citrus without being overwhelming.