POM (Pomegranate) Strawberry Tartlets
For all of you wondering what ‘POM’ in the title is, POM Wonderful is USA’s largest manufacturer of Pomegranate juice and other related products. Please visit their website to know more about this company and their wonderful products. Ryan at POM wonderful contacted me a few days ago asking if I was interested in trying out POM juice and of course I said yes! So he sent me a very generous sample of POM pomegranate juice. Pomegranates are widely available in India and I grew up eating a lot of them!! I’ve always loved this fruit and my grandma always used to make us some pom juice in a blender, which was very tasty! But this POM juice, simply surpassed all my expectations! It is smooth with full pomegranate flavor, tartness and even the signature slightly bitter aftertaste of the fruit. I love it After I had my fill of the juice, I saved some of it to cook with.
I have to take a moment here to talk about the health benefits of Pomegranates. They are considered to be a super fruit because of their antioxidant properties. Click here to read more. Pomegranates are considered exotic in the USA, but they are very widely available in India. So people, gear up and eat as many as you can and the rest of us who are in the other parts of the world, drink up POM wonderful juice!! Fresh pomegranates are fun to eat and can be eaten as a snack or added in salads.
The immediate pairing that came to my mind was strawberries. I thought the sweetness of the strawberries would complement the tartness of the pomegranate juice. And I was right, it did!! They paired beautifully in this syrup I created and served up in my tartlets. The sweetness from the tartlets and strawberries and the tart pomegranate juice, become a flavor party in your mouth!! Try this and let me know what you think. Another useful tip here – make a lot of the POM strawberry syrup and save it in the fridge. Drizzle over your pancakes and cereal. It is absolutely mind blowing! You can make the tartlets up to 3-4 days in advance and store them in an airtight container and fill them on the day you wish to serve them.
For the tart shells: (from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook)
(Makes 13-15 2.75 inch tartlets)
All purpose flour – 3/4 cup
Unsalted butter – 3 Tbsp (at room temperature)
Confectioner’s sugar – 1/4 cup
Egg Yolk – 1 large
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Heavy cream – 1 Tbsp (I substituted this with milk)
Pure Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
For the POM Strawberry filling:
POM wonderful pomegranate juice – 3/4 cup
Strawberries – 3/4 cup (I used frozen)
Strawberry jam – 3 Tbsp
Sugar – 1/4 cup
Unflavored powdered Gelatin – 2 tsp
Water – 2 Tbsp
For the Tart shells:
- Combine the butter and confectioner’s sugar in a bowl with the help of a handheld mixer or stand mixer. Mix on low speed until creamy, about 2-4 minutes.
- Incorporate the egg yolks, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add half of the flour and mix on low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining half of the flour, salt, vanilla extract and cream and mix until the flour is no longer visible.
- Turn out the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a flattened disc. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. The dough can be frozen up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Divide the dough into 3 portions. Working very quickly, taking care not to melt the butter in the dough, roll out one portion of the dough to 1/8th inch thickness. Now cut out circles slightly bigger than your tart shells. Pick up the circles carefully, with the help of your rolling pin and fir over the tart shells and trim the edges. Prick the bottom with a fork. Line these with small circles of parchments and place some pie weights/dried beans on this. This is to avoid the puffing up of the dough.
- Place these tart shells on a baking tray and then in the refrigerator for 10-15 mins. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 15 minutes, until the edges start turning light golden brown. Remove parchment and weights; continue baking until the surface is light golden all over, about 4-6 mins. Keep an eye on them.
- Remove the tarts carefully from the tart shells and cool to room temperature. Then store in an airtight container until ready to serve, for upto 3 days.
For the POM Strawberry filling:
- Combine the POM wonderful pomegranate juice, strawberries, strawberry jam and sugar in a saucepan and simmer for 25-30 mins, until the mixture is thickened to a syrup consistency. Cool and store in the refrigerator.
- Sprinkle 2 tsp of gelatin over 2 Tbsp of water and let it soften, about 1 minute. Meanwhile bring a pan with some water to a simmer. Hold the gelatin bowl over the simmering water, not touching the water, just above it, so the steam can melt the gelatin. Once the gelatin is melted, quickly add it to the POM strawberry syrup and mix thoroughly.
- Immediately pour this mixture into the tartlets and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve chilled with a garnish of your choice. I’ve garnished mine simply with a few crushed cashew nuts.