Thursday, November 18, 2010

POM Wonderful Dinner Party Recap 5: Happy Endings...Pomegranate-Port Sorbetto

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is ONE WEEK from today?!?!? Where has the year gone to? I'm hosting my in-laws, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law this I've been busy planning my menu and coming up with some ideas for decor. The next few posts will be All About Thanksgiving, but not before we bid adieu to the pomegranate and my POM Wonderful Dinner Party. My final party-planning tip is this: leave your guests on a high note with a dessert that compliments the meal that you've served and brings the meal to a happy ending.

In this case, I wanted to keep dessert light since my main dish was quite spicy. I decided to make a refreshing pomegranate-port sorbetto and pomegranate white-chocolate truffles. The sorbetto was very cooperative, but my truffles were the "problem child" of my menu. I followed the directions and made the truffle mixture two days before my party. I chilled them overnight, but they never quite firmed up to more than a sticky goo. Definitely NOT up to snuff texture-wise...but the flavor was fantastic. What to do, what to do?

Rather than panic, I resorted to Plan B: Pomegranate Cake With Pomegranate White-Chocolate Truffle Buttercream.  I made a basic vanilla cake batter and baked it in a springform pan. When it came out of the oven, I poked holes on the top with a wooden skewer and spooned some of my homemade pomegranate molasses on top. Then I made a basic buttercream; I added 1/4 cup of the pomegranate molasses + 1/2 cup of my unruly truffle mixture!

What could have been a disaster came out a winner. The cake was sweet, with a tart bite from the pom molasses syrup...and the buttercream was great. Everyone asked what I had put into the icing because you could definitely taste the white chocolate. Which is another lesson to learn: sometimes your kitchen blunders can lead to an unexpected -- and good -- outcome. I served the cake cut into wedges with a bit more pomegranate molasses on top.

My guests enjoyed all the components of my pomegranate-inspired menu, but they RAVED about the sorbetto I served. It was full of bright flavors! Best of all? It's a snap to whip up. I served it as a sort of palate cleanser between my spicy main course and the cake. 

Pomegranate-Port Sorbetto
adapted from Epicurious

Step 1:  Combine 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil and then take off heat to cool completely.

Step 2:  Pour the cooled simple syrup into a mixing bowl. Add 2 cups POM Wonderful juice, 1 tbs. orange zest, 1/3 cup whipping cream, 1/2 cup orange juice, and 1/2 cup port wine. Whisk to combine.

Step 3:  Place the mixture in your ice cream maker and chill according to your manufacturer's instructions. I have a Cuisinart countertop ice cream maker and processed mine for 30 minutes. At that point, it was like soft serve. The color is so pretty, and you can see flecks of orange peel. 

Step 4:  Scoop the sorbetto into a plastic container and freeze at least 4 hours, but I think overnight is best if possible. To serve, scoop the sorbetto into a pretty dish. Top with pom arils and drizzle some pomegranate molasses on top.

This is another example of a recipe that combines a few simple, fantastic flavors into a dish with tons of Wow Factor. Everyone at the table asked for seconds of this tart adults-only sorbetto. You can taste the port, but it didn't overwhelm the fruity citrus flavor in the least. Here's one last decor photo from my party. This is the display that I set up on my bar. It features pomegranates and pears, my framed dinner menu, and two of my favorite wines from Napa Valley.

So there you have it, my POM Wonderful Dinner Party from start to finish! Come back this weekend as All Things Thanksgiving Week begins here at The Weekend Gourmet...see you Saturday!!


  1. Hi Wendy! You know I was excited to see these desserts...and they did no disappoint! I'm sorry that the truffles didn't work out, but what a lovely cake got made as a result! This was truly a beautiful meal you shared. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  2. I suspect the problem with the truffles was using white choc instead of dark like the recipe called for...maybe too much cocoa butter? At least I made the best of it...the icing was like a cross between buttercream and ganache. I liked it a lot!

  3. I love the sorbetto! Mine wouldn't have made it into the freezer.

  4. I think the Sorbetto would be my first choice, though everything looks amazing. I hope you have a great holiday, I can't believe the year is almost over.

  5. This sorbetto is fast to make and full of very vibrant flavors! You can taste the port, but it doesn't overwhelm the was so good that everyone at the table asked for seconds! It's really hit the spot after a spicy main course!

  6. i am so glad you linked me to your blog! it is so great- love all of these pom recipes!


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