How to Make Pomegranate Molasses
Pomegranate Molasses is one of those ingredients that can quite literally transform your cooking in the best possible way. Because it’s become increasingly popular over the past few years, you can sometimes find bottles of Pomegranate Molasses in supermarkets. And, of course, like everything else in the world, you can order it on Amazon. But, here’s the thing…
A bottle of Pomegranate Molasses will run you around $15. Making it yourself will cost you about 1/3 of that and is as simple as pouring some pomegranate juice into a pan and letting it reduce down into a thick, intensely flavored syrup.
Prep time? About 1 minute.
Deliciousness factor? Off the scale.
What makes pomegranate molasses a secret weapon in the kitchen is its ability to quickly add the kind of depth and complexity to a dish that usually comes only from browning and slowly cooking food. One of the best things about it is that, even with some added sugar, its primary characteristic is not sweet. It’s sour, tangy, acidic, and even a bit smoky.
This makes it one of the most versatile pantry staples in the world because you can add it to sweet AND savory dishes, and everything in between.
Some of my favorite ways to use Pomegranate Molasses:
- Add it to your favorite vinagrette. This is one of my favorite ways to use Pomegranate Molasses. Simply add a tablespoon or two (or more!) to classic vinaigrette, reducing the amount of vinegar slightly to accommodate for the extra acidity.
- Add it to cocktails! Even though the recipe doesn’t call for it, I love adding a bit of Pomegranate Molasses to this Pomegranate Ginger Spritzer. Try adding a couple teaspoons to a classic Margarita, Gimlet, or French Pear Martini.
- Add it to all kinds of beverages. Iced tea, sparkling water, lemonade… a bit of pomegranate molasses adds a deliciously refreshing tang to everything it touches.
- Brush it on beef, pork, or chicken, or use it in marinades. Pomegranate molasses is delicious added to marinades or brushed over meat or poultry as a glaze because it adds the kind of bright acidity and flavor that you get from fruit without adding hardly any sweetness.
- Brush it over roasted vegetables. I make big trays of roasted vegetables all the time, using them throughout the week in soups, salads, pasta, and alongside meaty dishes. This method for roasting vegetables is super easy and can be used to roast pretty much any kind you like. Right after roasting, brushing the veggies with a bit (you don’t need very much!) of pomegranate molasses to add a meaty richness, without using any actual meat.
- Add it to the base of soups, stews, curries, and stir-fries. The very best soups, stew, and curries layer flavors throughout the cooking process, using every single step as a way of bringing a new flavor-packed element to the dish. A few dashes of pomegranate molasses stirred in along with whatever other liquid is being used in the dish will instantly add depth and richness to nearly any kind recipe, like this Asian Short Rib Fried Rice.
- Use it to add depth to sauce and gravy. Just as adding pomegranate molasses to soups, stews, and curries enriches their flavor, adding a tablespoon or two to sauces and gravy can improve the flavor to a surprising degree.
Making Pomegranate Molasses is a 2-step process requiring only 3 ingredients:
- Pomegranate Juice
- Lemon juice
That’s all you need to make a batch of Pomegranate Molasses. Dump all three in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, and let it simmer until it’s reduced to about 1 cup. That’s it. When reduced, it will be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
A word of caution: You CAN overcook pomegranate molasses.
If you’re tempted to reduce your pomegranate molasses even more, in an effort to further concentrate the flavor, don’t. Reducing 4 cups of pomegranate juice to 1 cup is as far as you want to go.
Reduce it much further and it will turn from a lovely magenta color to brown. Once cool, it will solidify into an extremely thick and vicious stuff that’s difficult to remove from the jar. Also, it will probably taste a bit burned.
Just let it boil until its reduced to 1 cup and you’ll be golden.
Storing Pomegranate Molasses
If stored in the refrigerator, pomegranate molasses will keep for up to 6 months.
Some people claim the the acidity of pomegranate molasses is high enough to store it in the pantry. Call me a nervous Nelly, but I can’t bring myself to test this out. The acidity might be high, but it is fruit juice based after all and no matter how crowded my refrigerator, it’s not that hard to find a place for an 8-ounce jar.
Used in this recipe:
Recipes that use Pomegranate Molasses:
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #alittleandalot on Instagram.
Homemade Pomegranate Molasses requires 3 ingredients, takes very little time to make, will keep for 6 months, and can be used in a wide variety of recipes.
- 4 cups ( 1 liter/ 33.8 ounces) pomegranate juice
- 1/2 cup sugar (*See note)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- Add the pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice to a saucepan that’s at least 3-quarts in capacity. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let it continue to cook until reduced to 1-cup.
- Pour the pomegranate molasses into a glass jar or measuring cup and let cool. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
- I prefer pomegranate molasses that’s on the tart side because it makes it more versatile for adding it to sweet AND savory recipes. But, if you’d like yours to be sweeter, simply add a couple tablespoons more sugar.