“Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely. Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate behind your veil.” ~ Song of Solomon
Ok let me be clear about one thing. This quote is rather erotic – and maybe not totally appropriate for an ice cream blog, but in the spirit of researching the biblical significance of the pomegranate, this seemed apropos. I should also note that if The Husband recited these lines to me as some sort of a love poem, I’d vomit. Let me be clear, if my cheeks were like halves of a pomegranate I’d probably look like a chipmunk, or maybe like I just had my wisdom teeth removed. That ‘aint no compliment. Oh, and I don’t want to be told that my mouth is lovely. That’s like saying I’m really good at eating. Gee, thanks. Solomon, I think you need to try a little harder with your pick up lines. These just stink.
This recipe is the second in a series of Jewish New Year sorbet posts. I’ve decided to use fruits that are quintessentially Jewish – or that are prominently featured this time of year. Enter the pomegranate. This beautiful fruit, though a big fat pain in the tuchas to peel, is rather significant in Judaism.
First, legend has it (though I cannot personally confirm because I do not have the time to sit there and peel and count the seeds) that the pomegranate has 613 seeds. This number is of great significance in Judaism as it corresponds to the number of mitzvot, or commandments in the Bible. Second, the pomegranate is one of the seven original species of fruits and grains enumerated in the Bible. In fact, upon entering the Land of Israel, the Israelite scouts brought Moses a pomegranate, to show that the promised land was fertile. This, my friends, is precisely why we eat the pomegranate on the new year (that and it’s harvesting season is September – December, so eco-conscious foodies would approve!).
And as for the champagne – well, let’s be honest, there really isn’t much of a significance, other than this new year is cause for celebration, so let’s pop open a bottle of bubbly. You should know that when we opened it, The Husband did a piss poor job because the champagne literally exploded everywhere – including all over this recipe. Good thing enough remained to make this sorbetto.
So, in the spirit of the new year we bless one another with prosperity and fertility, health and happiness. May your good deeds and kindness be as numerous as the pomegranate seeds. Here’s to a sweet new year.
Pomegranate Champagne Sorbetto
From Ciao Bella
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup champagne, chilled
Simple Syrup (1 cup water, 1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice (I omitted this)
Prepare the simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, whisking often to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 4 minutes, while continuing to whisk until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool, then transfer to a bowl or container, cover, and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
In a large bowl whisk together the pomegranate juice, champagne, simple syrup and lemon juice (if you use it). Pour the mixture into the container of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. When ready to eat, drizzle with pomegranate seeds and enjoy.
Note: Because this recipe involves alcohol, you’ll notice that even after 20 minutes (the usual churning time) it does not fully freeze. It’s going to be slightly more liquid than other sorbets, so just keep in the freezer until right before you serve.
The Verdict: Wow! The first bite is all champagne. The second bite is all pomegranate. The third – a perfect mixture of the two. I must admit, even though I can appreciate how yummy this flavor is, it is not one of my favorite concoctions – partially because I don’t like champagne, and partially because I was so obsessed with the apple sorbet that I didn’t have any room in my heart for another flavor. But apparently my entire family (yes, all 30 of them who tasted it) actually preferred the Pomegranate Champagne Sorbetto. So, I was outvoted. They raved about this flavor. In fact, they loved it so much that I they may have successfully changed my mind. I’ve been converted. This flavor is good!