Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday: POM Wonderful: Wonderfully Decadent and Wonderfully Wholesome

Please go to The Fairy Blogmother for more What's Cooking Wednesday participants.

The first time I had pomegranate juice was in a Soviet "buffet" at a Moscow movie theater in 1987.

It was also the first time my friend Tanya had had grapefruit juice.

We were both stunned by the other's lack of culinary experience.

Pomegranate juice was rare in the States in those days, but certainly not so now. Touted as the ultimate antioxidant, and reportedly contributing to heart health and prostate health, pomegranates are enjoying a popularity here like never before.

I've been a fan of all things pomegranate since that frigid, December night in Moskva all those years ago. So when I was e-mailed by POM Wonderful and asked if I'd like to receive a free case of POM Wonderful and blog about it, I was delighted.

I get these offers fairly frequently. This is the first one I've accepted, though, because I won't. promote. stuff. with. junk. When someone e-mails me, the first thing I ask for is nutrition info. and ingredients.

All I can say is that this is the first product I've been offered that is pure. 100% pomegranate juice and nothing else. I could deal with that.

Very quickly, six, cute, little bottles arrived in a cold pack. Then I started to think about what might be fun to cook.

Well, raspberries to that.

I mean literally. I thought that raspberries in a Pomegranate reduction sauce, maybe without any sugar, would be interesting. And it was:

Here's the super-duper easy recipe, and it's so good. It's so good that D said, "Tell them it's so good that I licked the plate." And he did. Okay, so I didn't marry him for his table manners. But here it is:

Raspberries in Pomegranate Reduction

1 pint of raspberries
8 oz. of POM Wonderful
1 tsp. sugar (yeah, I did need a little)
1/2 tsp rose flower water

Heat raspberries and POM Wonderful to a simmer. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until the liquid reduces by half. Take off the burner and stir in the sugar and rose flower water. Chill. You're done.

Now, I thought, what should I do with this divine sauce? Well, I happened to have some chocolate cake and some local vanilla ice cream (Calder Dairy - YUM), and this is what we came up with (the decadent part of this post):

Oh. Yeah.

But what I'd originally been thinking was something a whole lot more... wholesome. So, today, I made the Wonderfully Wholesome dessert. And I think it was even better. D didn't lick the plate, but he did have two helpings. So I give you a "real" recipe:

Spring Fruit Cobbler with Cornmeal Crust


1 recipe Raspberries in Pomegranate Reduction (or a bit less than one recipe, if you happened to use some with chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream the night before)
2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup blackberries
4 oz. POM Wonderful

1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup stone ground cornmeal (I used Jennings Brothers heritage Bloody Butcher cornmeal)
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt
2 1/2 TBS unsalted butter
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/2 tsp sugar, for sprinkling on crust

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Simmer the rhubarb in the POM Wonderful until tender. Add berries and cook about a minute more.
3. Pour fruit mixture into 8X8 baking dish.
4. Whisk dry ingredients together. Cut in butter with knives, a food processor or what have you.
5. Pour in buttermilk and stir just until the dough comes together. Do NOT overwork it.
6. Pretend you are in preschool again, stick your fingers into that dough and drop it in clumps all over the fruit. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp granulated sugar.
7. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. It looks done before 30 minutes, but trust me - leave it in. Otherwise the crust might be soggy underneath.

Enjoy the house smelling like... spring.

Eat hot, cold or in between.

Thanks, POM Wonderful.


anno said...

That's some inspired baking -- truly wonderful!

Luisa Perkins said...

Swooooooon! I must make these at once.

Jen said...

Anno - despite the rhubarb? ;-)

Luisa - I think you'd especially like the second one. I should mention it's not a very sweet dessert, though.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Very decadent and a gorgeous color Jen! BTW, You're welcome to pop in anytime by me!

Momisodes said...

Both of these look divine. My mouth is watering just reading your recipe. I haven't made a cobbler in a long time. Perhaps I may give this one a go this summer.

painted maypole said...

i was not hungry until I looked at this

Korie said...

It sounds amazing! I looove POMwonderful. It was my weekly splurge with track tips after I quit smoking. I'll definitely try these sometime...maybe Louisa can annex her cookbook with a section for you :p

Jen said...

Proud Italian - thanks for the compliments - I was happy with the color, too! And watch out, because I'm not far from Chicago. ;-) You're welcome by us any time you're in A2!

Momisodes - just think of all the healthy antioxidants, etc. And cobblers really are easy.

Thanks, PM!

Oh, Lilac, I don't think I can hold a candle to Luisa's recipes. I'm reviewing her book here on Monday.

Goofball said...

I never learn not to come by by your blog at lunch or dinner time ;)....mmmm hungry hungry hungry

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

both dishes look yummy.

I like POM too.

I used to mix it with a little orange juice and ginger ale. Sometimes I'd add vodka.

Thistlemoon said...

I so agree with your philosophy to only promote things with GOOD ingredients. I have had to turn down a lot of offers too, so I know what you mean about it being so nice to be offered a product you would actually consume yourself!!!

I love what you did with the POM juice!

Dingo said...

I'm getting ready to head into the kitchen to make dinner and all I can think about is that cobbler.

ThrtnWmsFam said...

That chocolate cake with the raspberry/pom and ice cream - divine!

I buy dehydrated pom and sometimes powder it to add a bit of a kick to oatmeal.

Vikki at www.homesteadingbasics.blogspot.com, www.backyardgrocerygardening.blogspot.com and www.survival-cooking.com

peter said...

That's something I would actually write about as well- though I suspect they're not going to be calling on me any time soon.

I want cake now.

Jen said...

Goofball - This is an easy one to make!

NYC - I've been thinking about cocktails, too. Originally for the sauce, I was thinking some orange juice and maybe Cointreau, but then I decided I wanted to see what just the raspberries/POM would do.

Jenn - I thought you might feel the same way. ;-) Thanks for the kind words, too!

Dingo, I was happy with this one and it wasn't much of an indulgence.

Vikki - thanks so much for stopping by. That's interesting about the dehydrated POM - I may look into that!

Peter - you never know. I know they've visited many of my blogger friends.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

With my POM I went for the simple flavours as well with a pomegranate and passion fruit iced tea.

glamah16 said...

Thats some good looking desserts you made there with POM. Love the stuff!

Jen said...

Val - Pomegranate-Passion Fruit Iced Tea sounds truly wonderful.

Thanks so much, Coco!

A Crafty Mom said...

That looks absolutely delicious - wow!! I could eat a big slice of that right now :)

Jen said...

Crafty - it really is delicious IMHO, but again, kind of sour, which is what D and I prefer. C won't go near it! ;-)

w said...

Loved the text and the pictures :) I am getting more into cooking lately. The main enemy is lack of time unfortunately. Have you heard of this magazine: "Easy cooking for busy people" by the BBC. I am loving it ;)

Have a nice day,

Shayne said...

ok the cobbler looks really good but the cake looks like something to die for.

Jen said...

La Delirante - time is always the thief of cooking. I cook, in part, to make sure my life is balanced, if that makes any sense?

Shayne - The cake WAS to die for, but personally, my favorite of all was the WCW of this week - the raspberry-rhubarb buttermilk cake. But raspberries and dark chocolate are always a winning combination, IMHO.