Pomegranate Gel with Pashmak
This recipe comes from Turkey: Recipes and tales from the road by Leanne Kitchen. Its a beautifully presented book. This is the second dessert I have made from it. The other one, hazelnut meringues with rose cream and roasted strawberries, was a real hit. This one, I am not so sure about.
- 5 cups of pomegranate juice
- ⅔ cup caster sugar (This is what the recipe says but I would use more, especially if children are eating it. I would start with 1 cup and then slowly add more, tasting with each addition. Don’t count on the pashmak to sweeten it.)
- ⅓ cup cornflour
- pashmak (Iranian fairy floss) and pomegranate seeds to serve. You can buy pashmak at Middle Eastern grocery shops.
The recipe was:
- Put the pomegranate juice and sugar into a pot.
- Stir until the sugar is dissolved and then bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Combine the cornflour with a small amount of water to make a paste.
- Take the mixture off the heat and add the cornflour mixture, stirring all the while.
- Return to heat. Stir constantly until mixture boils and thickens.
- Pour into serving dishes.
- Put into fridge to cool.
- Decorate with pashmak and pomegranate seeds.
I didn’t use cornflour. What I did was:
- Mix ⅓ cup of instant Clear Jel and the caster sugar with a whisk to combine.
- Bring the pomegranate juice to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Whilst whisking the juice, slowly pour the sugar and Clear Jel mixture into the juice, whisking all the time until sugar dissolves. It thickens instantly.There is no need to bring to the boil like cornflour.
To my taste, the dish was very tart. As mentioned above, if I ever make it again, I would increase the sugar. I tasted it when I added the sugar and thought it was tart but I also thought the pashmak would sweeten it . It didn’t appear to do so significantly. Alan thought it was ok as it was. Maybe he was just being polite.
I had the left over one the next day and it didn’t seem so tart.
It looks gorgeous, Glenda, love the colour! And I adore Persian fairy floss! Haven’t ever seen it for sale, so I must look harder…
Celia it was dead easy to buy. I just went to a local grocery shop that sold all things Middle Eastern and asked whether they sold Pashmak … and they did. I think the dessert actually looks better than it tasted but hey, that’s life.
Well, that’s quite an impressive looking dessert, isn’t it! Beautiful. You got me with the ‘pashmak’ though – I’ve never seen that before – is it spun sugar? Interesting stuff, for sure.
Is the Clear Jel working as you expected?
Hi Doc, yeah Pashmak is spun sugar. We call it fairy floss in Australia, do you? It’s also known as Persian fairy floss. It is a bit different to our fairy floss in that it has more distinct threads but it is essentially the same.
This is the first time I used the instant clear jel and it worked a dream. I had read that you should mix it with the other dry ingredients so it doesn’t clump when it hits the wet ingredients, that is why I mixed it with the sugar and it was perfect. It took less than a minute to stir in the sugar and thicken it.
Unless my brain is hardening as we speak, I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard of this stuff before! We have cotton candy -which is often sold at fairs and outdoor events- but that’s as close as I know it gets. It certainly looks impressive!
Over here, the university system gets involved in providing local ‘homemaker’ education, and so they sponsor annual classes on canning and preserving – and they sell clear jel at prices that are far lower than at the local grocery (I think they buy it in 100 lb bags and repackage it). They present it as an alternative to using pectin – I’ve got some of the instant and the cooked kind, and I remember not being overly impressed when I tried it. I can’t remember every using it for desserts, etc. – maybe I’ll try that.
Hi Doc, it would be the same as your cotton candy.
I came across clear jel in US canning books. It is used to thicken pie fillings. When I was reading up on it, I found out about instant clear jel. It was amazing to use. The only reservation I have read is that it can sometimes ‘grab’ so it is recommended that it is added to other dry ingredients. A lot of the articles suggested using a stick blender if needed.