Pomegranate panna cotta with pear & basil jelly


Preparation info

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Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey


By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

Pomegranates originated in the Middle East, somewhere in Persia, between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. They are a fruit mentioned in all the main religions originating from the region, and remnants have been found which date back thousands of years. Funnily enough, even though they’re incredibly exotic and don’t grow in the UK, my partner Michael remembers eating them in south London as a wee boy back in the 1950s. So, it might be fair to say they’ve been part of the British diet for a while. They’re surely one of the most beautiful fruit, but you need to make sure you pick the seeds properly or they can have a bitter taste. The best way to prepare them is to wear gloves and an apron. Cut the fruit around the outside with a small sharp knife, avoiding cutting in too deep as the white pithy flesh is bitter. Pull the two halves apart and then ‘tear’ each half in two, folding them back on themselves, as though turning them inside out, and pick the seeds out. The pomegranate molasses I tend to use in my cooking comes from Lebanon, but I also use Jordanian and Turkish varieties that work really well. Some are quite bitter so taste it first - you may need to add a little more sugar to the recipe. Serve this with a crunchy biscuit like biscotti or a nutty 7 tuile.