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We need to talk about pomegranates. I love them, and while I realize that getting all the tiny seeds out of a pomegranate can be scary and daunting, that doesn’t mean you have to beat the crap out of the fruit to extract them. Seriously. Why would you even think it’s okay to beat a fruit? Oh, right, there was a youtube video. That still doesn’t make sense. I’d really like to meet the person that started this madness so we could have a serious word.
Here’s how I get the seeds out of a pomegranate. I cut the fruit in half, and using my hands, I break the halves into quarters. Then working over a large, deep bowl (or tupperware), I just work out all the seeds with my fingertips, breaking the pomegranate wedges into sections as I go. It’s not hard. It doesn’t take very long. The seeds are clearly clustered as you can see when you open one up. It’s just a matter of revealing each pocket of seeds and emptying it out.
There’s no need to get violent, people.
When you are done, fill the bowl containing the pomegranate seeds with water, and the little leftover bits of the peel/pith will float up to the surface so you can easily scoop them out. Drain, et voilà!
My blog has been all brown and winter lately, with citrusy three fruit marmalade and steamed marmalade pudding cakes, but I needed something a little more bright and vibrant, like pomegranates. I think we could all use a little pomegranate these days, but promise me you won’t beat it with a wooden spoon. That’s just unnecessary violence.
Pomegranates are beautiful, and just like I think you should take the time to make brown butter, I think you should take the time to open up a pomegranate to carefully pull out all of its seeds. And, when the work is done, you have a big bowl of pomegranate seeds ready for anything and everything, like these pavlovas.
Pavlovas are like meringues, but different. There’s a chew to them that typical meringues don’t usually have. Pavlovas are crispy and kind of hollow. I love the way they break apart in large flakes when you cut into them. Don’t let their pale exterior fool you: the combination of cocoa powder and dark chocolate in these pavlovas makes for a real hit of chocolate.
Chocolate pavlovas recipe
- 3 egg whites 90 grams
- 150 grams granulated sugar
- 1.5 tbsp Cacao Barry extra brute cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
- 25 grams dark chocolate chopped
- Lots of whipped cream
- Seeds of 1 pomegranate
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- With the mixer running, gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until the meringue is firm.
- Sift the cocoa powder over top, then sprinkle in the vinegar, and the chopped chocolate, and gently but quickly fold until everything is incorporated.
- Dollop the chocolate pavlova mixture onto the baking sheets, placing about 3 or 4 on each sheet, leaving room for them to expand in the oven. Swirl and smooth the dollops with an offset spatula.
- Place the baking sheets in the oven, and then lower the oven temperature to 300ºF. Bake the pavlovas for about 30 minutes, then turn off the oven, prop open the door, and let them cool completely (I left them overnight because it’s winter and there was no worry of humidity in the house).
- Serve the pavlovas with generous amounts of whipped cream and pomegranate seeds
Janice Lawandi is chemist-turned-baker, working as a recipe developer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and cooking at l’Académie Culinaire. She has a BSc in Biochemistry from Concordia University and a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University. Visit janicelawandi.com to see my portfolio.