Thursday, October 8, 2009

Enough With the Pumpkins Already!

When autumn arrives all we hear about are pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins! Hey, I love pumpkins and squash and Indian corn as much as the next gal, but let's consider pomegranates.

I was inspired by Lauri Kubuitsile’s photo of her struggling pomegranate tree in her garden over at her blog, Thoughts From Botswana. If you haven’t yet read her blog, pop on over, she’s a terrific writer, and a fascinating woman living in an fascinating country.

You see, I’ve always wanted a pomegranate tree of my own. Did you know that California is the only state here in the U.S. where they grow outside of greenhouses? I didn’t, I just read that today. You will find pomegranates mentioned and depicted in literature and art since ancient times, from Greece to Persia, throughout the Middle East and Asia. Some claim this unusual fruit is capable of curing infections caused by tapeworms and dysentery. The high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals stave off many illnesses.

Let’s celebrate the fall harvest of this wonderful fruit with a couple of tasty recipes:

This salad is terrific, utilizing another fall fruit available in vast quantities here in Southern California—persimmons:

3 fuyu persimmons, peeled, chopped (1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces), seeds (if any) discarded
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1 Granny Smith or Fuji apple, peeled, cored, chopped (1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces)
7-10 leaves fresh mint, thinly sliced crosswise (stack then, then roll them up like a cigar and take slices from the end)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey

Gently toss all of the ingredients together.
Serves 4.
Keeps for at least a couple of days in the refrigerator, but best eaten same day it is made.

So, now for a more decadent recipe featuring pomegranates:

Easy Pomegranate Cake

Preheat oven to 350, line 8” square pan with parchment paper

1 cup sifted cake flour
1tsp. Baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pomegranate juice

Whisk together cake flour and baking powder and set aside.
In large bowl beat eggs till foamy. Add sugar 1/4 at a time and beat well after each addition until light and fluffy and stiff. Add flour mixture to egg mixture 1/4 at a time, alternating with pomegranate juice. Beat until well combined.

Pour and bake 35 to 40 minutes. Until center springs back when lightly touched. Cool to room temperature. Pull out parchment paper to remove from pan. Frost with favorite cream cheese, or butter cream frosting. Or, simply sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Do you enjoy pomegranates? Were you aware of how good they are for you? Do you use them in cooking?

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Elizabeth, this is great! I didn't really know anything about pomegranates, except that they were pretty. I had no idea they were so nutritious. We're always looking for antioxidants here (especially going into winter.) Your recipes look easy and tasty...thanks!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Cheffie-Mom said...

I'm so excited about these recipes!! Woo hoo!! This post is so informative -- and the photos are great!! enJOY your day!!

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm with Elizabeth - I knew next to nothing about pomegranates until today :) Looks like I'm off to the grocery store... again!

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I've always loved pomegranates; they were a big treat to find in my school lunches (way back in the day).

Thanks for the recipe!


Pop Art Diva said...

The pomegranate cake sounds interesting, I think I might try it. And how could you leave off my Orange Pomegranate Martini, which I dedicated to your writing and blog?? For shame, lol.

Joanne said...

I don't know that I've ever had a pomegranate!! Your cake recipe looks delish ...

Tom Bailey said...

I connected to your blog through another blog.

I am a fellow southern californian too. Orange County- though I do not display it.

Palagranites are interesting --- I used to eat them alot as a kid... but now I dont. I just do not run into them often in the store.

I like your blog - You have a variety of interesting things.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I know they're good for you, but I only drink pomegranates in juice. That cake sounds yummy!

lakeviewer said...

I don't even see pomegranates here in Oregon. Come to think of it, I don't see persimmons either, or figs. They don't grow here. We get plenty of pumpkins though.

Love the recipes.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

The good thing is; even if you can't find pomegranates in your neck of the woods, you can buy the juice and make this yummy cake!

Tabitha Bird said...

Ooh great recipes. They sound yum.

Angie Ledbetter said...

I loooooove pomegranates! My grandmother had one in her backyard down here in Louisiana, so they do grow other places besides CA. :)

Jenn said...

Mmmmmm, pom's are one of my favorites but here in the Boston area they are cost prohibitive (probably because they make that long journey across the country!) so I only get them for really special occassions. That cake sounds like a really special occassion to me! Thanks for sharing these recipes!

So my husband and I have been looking into finally moving out your way in a couple years. He is dead set on Temecula, I think it is a little far from SD downtown / coast which is where I really want to be. Any suggestions of a good compromise that is safe and somewhere in between these 2 extremes? :-]

Kim said...

This explains why they are so expensive around here! It's been all the rage in our liquor stores too - pomegranate alcohol, martinis etc. When we lived in Arizona I thought we had a pomegranate tree but maybe I'm not remembering right. It was a long time ago.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Wow these are some fantastic recipes !! Lovely..i will surely try them some day !!Unseen Rajasthan

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Uh oh, I guess I got some false information, proving everything you read isn't true. Angie says poms grow in Louisiana, and Kim thinks they grow in Arizona as well. Oops.

Anne Spollen said...

I just like those words: pomegranate and persimmon. Definitely could use a change here from pumpkins...

We live in the middle of cranberry bogs. We always hear about how great they are for your health - but you're right. Pomeganates are supposed to be a super food, aren't they?

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Yum!!!! These look terrific!!! I'll have to try these out...And Grandkids born in Escondido? At Palomar? Worked as a Nurse's Aid there for a while back when I thought I wanted to pursue the medical profession...Yup, Escondido for H.S....Before that San Fran. Bay area...L.A. for College...Left CA after college, though...haven't been back to live since...but very, very fond memories...One of my very best friends lives in Hemet...Have a wonderful weekend!!!! My parents considered retiring in Temecula... I knew there were so many reasons why I like you so much!!!! Love to you and yours~Janine XO

Nancy said...

Thanks for the recipes. I have some pomegranate juice in my fridge just aching to go into a cake. I love pomegranates. I eat them out of hand, in salads, and in pomegranate cosmos (see Ina Garten's recipe, in her new cookbook Back to Basics - yum.)

Woman in a Window said...

Never 'eard of 'em!
Well, I've heard of them, but never tasted. Poor me.

K. said...

I have NEVER heard of pomegranate cake! I will have to try this recipe!

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

I am sorry about the loss of your friend, Janice. I know what you mean about the need to reach out more, solidify the friendships we have.

Thanks for visiting me today. Erma Bombeck WAS something special. Obviously, you are, too.

There are a lot of things I'd like to change in my life, and a lot of things I can't share on my blog because so many would read it. Perhaps I shall start an incognito blog? But reading about your friend and the way she lived life to the fullest makes me want to do that more.