Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pomegranate Gastrique


     Pomegranate Gastrique:
     This gastrique recipe yields about 1/3 cup!
     Some of my gastriques are made by cooking the molten sugar only to the hard crack to yellow amber stage.  The sugar is cooked to a medium dark amber color for today's gastrique recipe.  
     It is important to observe the sugar as it changes color from clear, to very pale yellow, then to a light yellow brown amber color.  This happens quickly!  A few seconds later, the sugar changes from a light amber color to a darker color.  This is the time to add the fruit!
     Take caution!  Hot molten sugar will cause severe burns.  Wear protective clothing!
     Do not stir a gastrique, till shortly after the liquid flavorings are added or the sugar will stick to the utensil like rock candy.
     Step 1:   Separate 1 cup of fresh pomegranate fruit from the rind and pith.  Set the clean pomegranate fruit aside. 
     Step 2:  Boil 1/2 cup of water over medium high heat in a sauce pot.
     Add 1/2 cup of sugar.
     When the sugar begins to turn a light amber color, stay close to the pan and watch for the sugar to turn a dark amber color.  (Dark amber is a yellow brown color.)
     When the sugar turns a dark amber color, immediately add the pomegranate fruit.
     Allow the caramelized sugar to coat the fruit for about 1 minute.
     *The sugar will stop caramelizing when you add the fruit.  The hot molten sugar will seize the fruit and pull all of the flavor and color out of the fruit.  
     Step 3:   Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 3 tablespoons of pomegranate vinegar.
     Add 3/4 cup of dry white wine.
     Add 1 cup of water.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt.
     Add 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns.
     Add 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves.
     Add 2 laurel leaves.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of chopped shallot.
     Step 4:  Simmer and reduce the gastrique, till becomes a thin glacé syrup consistency.  The glaçé should be thick enough to barely coat the back of a spoon.  (Keep in mind that when a gastrique cools, it may become a little bit thicker consistency.)
     Step 5:  Pour the gastrique through a fine mesh strainer into a container and set aside.
     A gastrique can be refrigerated for up to six months.  

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