At my old house, we planted a pomegranate tree back in 2008. My ex-husband now owns the house, and Slim and Curly live there 50% of the time. Recently when dropping off some things over there, I noticed the tree was just exploding with fruit. It's born fruit every year, but this year the crop was the best yet. Not only did it produce a ton, but the pomegranates were huge, and the flavor was excellent. Knowing they'd never make their way through all of them, I asked if I could fill up a bag and take some... this is one of those shining examples of why it's a good idea—if at all possible (and I can think of plenty of scenarios where it wouldn't have been for me but I was lucky)—to maintain a friendly relationship with your ex-spouse because the answer was a definite yes.
I am a huge fan of pomegranates. I will happily munch on the seeds plain, toss them in a salad, drink gallons of the juice, sprinkle them over a roasted chicken, or use them any other way I can think of. One of these days I will take on and master one of my all-time favorite dishes, a Persian chicken stew called Fesenjen. For now though, since I had so many I decided I would make some simple syrup and keep it in the fridge to mix into iced yerba matte... which I've gotten addicted to but find a little bitter on it's own.
I figured I would just follow the method for the blackberry simple syrup I made before, and just strain the seeds out at the end. Seemingly good idea right? Right. Unless that is, you take some allergy meds the night you decide to take on this project then promptly fall asleep and forget all about it. That's right. I fell asleep with something simmering on the stove (my landlords are probably shifting uncomfortably in the seats if they are reading this). Luckily, it was the lowest possible flame I could manage, and my dog and I did not die of asphyxiation or burn the house down.
And while I am not really prone to believing in divine intervention, something magical did happen that night... because when I woke up, walked into the kitchen, saw the flame, almost crapped in my pants, got myself together, and lifted off the lid, I saw the most lovely, golden-brown syrup I never imagined I would make.
So I set it off the burner to let it cool while I went to work, then came home that afternoon, strained the seeds out, and vowed to make pancakes.
Which I did. I used Kerby Lane's gingerbread pancake mix and the combination was lovely... and incredibly sweet. But a cup (or two) of strong black coffee and a couple of lardons of good quality bacon were the perfect accompaniment and gave the breakfast as a whole that nice blend of sweet, tart, and salty.
So, I know some people are little unsure of how to get the seeds out of a pomegranate, and I will admit, it does take a bit more work than say, peeling a banana. But it's really not that hard either. There are several methods out there, but my preferred one is to just cut it in half vertically, then break it into chunks that are an easy size to work with for your hands. Then you just bend the peel back to invert it, so the seeds now break away a bit from the membranes. Then you just pop them out with your fingers into a bowl, removing any little bit of pith that may stick to the end. Keep another bowl handy for the skins, membranes, and pith. I have never bothered to remove the fruit from the seeds... they are edible and give it a nice crunch so I've never seen the point. It's good to note that if using red-fleshed pomegranates (which is what most grocery stores carry and what most people think of when they think of a pomegranate), the juice will stain... so you know, don't wear your favorite fancy clothes. The tree we planted is a White Pomegranate, which has a sweeter fruit (and doesn't stain).
Since this was a bungled attempt at making something else, I can't really provide a recipe per se, but I can tell you my quantities and time and if you wanted to give this a go that would be a place to start from (and I would welcome hearing about the results if someone out there chooses to try to make this syrup). I used a 1:1:1 ratio of water, sugar, and pomegranate seeds... in this case I had 4 cups of seeds so used 4 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar. After bringing it to a boil, I reduced the heat to the lowest setting, watched some TV, then fell asleep. It was right at about 11 1/2 hours of simmering time when I turned the burner off. Yep. I suspect it could be done in a shorter amount of time. Again, I'd be interested to hear how any other experiments turn out.
And lastly, as fair turn around and since I had two bottles of the syrup, I gave one to my ex to keep over at his house. He is a big fan of pancakes and waffles, and Slim and Curly have inherited that from him, so it seemed only proper.