“As a pomegranate, cut in twain, White-seeded is her crimson mouth.” – Oscar Wilde.
I think one of the underdogs of the fruit world are pomegranates. I personally love eating them . And love the way they look. Doesn’t the ripe fruit look almost like its studded with rubies? Gorgeous!
I wanted to come up with a dessert to celebrate the pomegranate. Not just one where it merges with chocolate or other berries, and not just one where its just a garnish or dressing sauce. I wanted something where the Pomegranate would be the hero of the dish ( thats too much of Masterchef talking!).
I was really happy with the way this mousse tart turned out. The pale pink colour was lovely. The prep work was easy and not too time consuming . The texture was light and velvetty smooth. The taste of the sweetened fresh pomegranates marrying with all that whipped cream was refreshingly delicious! That it ended up being a no-bake affair was an added bonus . The biscuit base was almost an after thought but I very much liked the textural contrast of the crisp against the creamy. You could of course make only the mousse and serve in shot glasses or martini glasses.
All in all ? A kitchen experiment gone well ! Really well , I ‘d say!
You’ll need :
For the base:
- 100 grams (or 1/2 cup crushed ) digestive biscuits
- 50 grams or around 1/4 cup unsalted butter
For the mousse filling:
- 2-3 pomegranates (enough for 1 1/2 cups juice)
- 100 grams or 1/2 cup sugar
- 10 grams or 1 tablespoon gelatin
- 3 tablespoon cold water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
Makes : one 8 or 9 inch tart
Time : 30 mins prep + 6-8 hours chilling time
Lets get started:
Line a round 8 or 9 inch round pan with plastic wrap , such that wrap is above the sides of the pan. You could alternately use a springform pan or mousse ring for smoother sides.
To make the base, melt the butter and crush the biscuits.
Mix together until its a wet sandy mixture.
Flatten onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Chill for atleast 30 minutes or until your mousse is ready.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a small bowl. Keep aside.
Blend together the seeds (Arils ) of the pomegranate in your mixer or food processor.
Strain into a sauce pan ( to get rid of the graininess) and add the sugar. Heat on low until it starts to bubble .
Take off the heat and add the lemon juice and gelatin mixture. Mix until all gelatin granules are dissolved. You could strain it again if you wish. Let this come to room temperature. Whisk in between if you feel its forming a jelly.
Whip up the cream to soft peaks.
Fold the cream into the pomegranate mixture until smooth.
Pour onto your chilled base and smoothen the top. Chill for 6 hours or overnight. When you are ready to serve, just lift the plastic wrap out (or unmold if using a mousse ring/ springiform pan) and transfer the tart to the serving dish.
- Keep refrigerated until serving time. Store chilled for upto three days
- Adjust the sugar between 1/3 to 1/2 cup depending on the sweetness of your fruit.
- If you want a deeper colour , add a couple of pink/ red food colouring in the last step. Do not add too much as the mousse may turn slightly bitter
- You can make this with readymade pomegranate juice as well. But if it has sugar added to it , adjust the sugar in the recipe.
- If on unmolding your edges are jagged , just smooth with a knife or spatula.
- If you are vegetarian , you can substitute gelatin with equal amount of agar agar.
This is a great make-ahead dessert! Use the ripest fruits you can find for the best results . Even with all that cream , the fresh pomegranate flavour really comes through. The tanginess of it cuts the richness of the cream beautifully. This fruity dessert is so light , it ‘ll have you reaching for more.