A brief chat with the ghost of Christmas postings past, revealed that I have never written about pomegranate gelato. I find this shocking, but also terribly convenient, since I was wondering what yuletide delicacy I could pay tribute to this week. Pomelato, as I fondly call it when I whisper its name, is something that can only be written about up to a point, and then it simply must be eaten. It defies language. I hope you will try this recipe, because it’s so much better than anything anyone else is making this season. I say that giving full credit to the geniuses at the dearly departed Gourmet magazine, from whence this recipe comes.
Most people, women anyway, do much more Christmas baking than I do. Partly this is because I bake all year. Partly it’s because, as I have mentioned, I come from a long, proud line of cookie snobs. I usually only like my mother’s cookies, and I can wait patiently until Christmas day for them. If someone offers me a buckeye in the meantime, I will take it; I will, in fact, take ten, which is why I don’t socialize with anyone who makes buckeyes, no matter how nice they are. I have – I hope – many years of eating left, and I have to pace myself.
I think many holiday treats are special, and my santa hat is off to anyone who does anything festive, since I can’t even manage to send a Christmas card and I leave all decorating to the daughters. But to me, this rosy confection ranks right up there with hearing the Hallelujah Chorus for proclaming: it’s Christmas. Ideally I would experience both in a ski-in chalet, with no wi-fi, so my husband had to take marriage quizzes from women’s magazines with me for several cozy days. That would be the perfect Christmas holiday, and I know he feels the same way.
But failing that, I will settle for a dish of pomelato, with a sprinkle of pomegranate arils on top for their jeweled effect (strongly resembling the garnet necklace I hope to someday receive for Christmas). It’s perfect to indulge in while you make this fudge, which screeches in at a close second on my list, along with Mahalia Jackson singing O Holy Night. Give it a listen while you melt the butter into the dark chocolate. I am going to go do that very thing right now, while my children lie about in their pile of presents, waving their arms and legs to make gift angels..
May your holiday be gloriously peaceful or (prudently) chaotic, if you prefer. If you attend services, may the sermon be short and the singing divine. If you stay home, may your day be filled with good food and kind words. And may the night be filled with stars.
Cook’s Note: This is a once-a-year splurge, so buy refrigerated Pom Wonderful juice – not shelf-stable – and PAMA liqueur. It’s worth it, and you need these ingredients to achieve the rosy hue. You do not want your pomelato to suffer from insufficient rubescence. Trust me, that’s the kind of thing women died from in 19th century novels. You can buy PAMA in tiny bottles – what joy! I find it easier to use 2 cups of half and half rather than the cream/milk mixture the recipe calls for, but either works. And of course, I reduce the sugar because I like it tart.