Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pomegranate Tart

This was my favorite Christmas dessert as a child, and I would ask for it on my birthday. Now that I cook for myself, I can have it whenever I want!

It looks complicated, but after you get into it, it really isn't. Enjoy!

Make the crust and white layer a day ahead - it needs plenty of time to chill.

One package graham crackers or gluten-free cookies (or pie crust)
3 T melted butter
2 cups nonfat yogurt (plain or vanilla - if using vanilla, use slightly less sugar and omit vanilla extract)
1/2 c sour cream
1 t grated orange peel
1/2 t grated lemon peel (if you have it - don't worry if you don't)
3 T lemon or lime juice, divided
1 t vanilla (if using plain yogurt)
1/2 c water
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin, divided
3/4 c sugar, divided
2 medium pomegranates or about a cup of pomegranate seeds
3 oz raspberry flavored gelatin (usually Jell-O packages are 6 oz)
2 cups raspberry-cranberry juice

1) Make your crust:
I just mashed up graham crackers and some melted butter, but you can use whatever you like. I once used gluten-free ginger cookies and it was delicious!
For graham-cracker version, use one package of graham crackers, minus a few crackers. For other versions, use whatever cookies desired. A basic pie crust should work too. Put in a plastic bag and mash with hands (this was always my job as a kid). Add 3 T melted butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of a spring-form cheesecake pan*. Bake at 300 for 20 - 25 minutes. 
* It is important to use a spring-form cheesecake pan, otherwise you will not be able to get the tart out of the pan without ruining it.

2) Mix the white layer. Combine yogurt, sour cream, orange peel, lemon peel and lemon/lime juice in a metal or glass bowl.

3) When the crust is done and cooled, prepare a large bowl of ice water in the sink.
4) Mix in a small saucepan: 1/2 cup sugar, 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin, and 2/3 cup water. Bring to boil on high, remove from heat.
5) Working quickly, add to yogurt mixture, whisking thoroughly.
6) Put yogurt bowl in bowl of ice water, stirring continuously. Stir until the mixture thickens slightly and is cool to the touch.

7) Pour into pie crust. Chill for at least 4 hours.
8) While it is chilling, break apart pomegranates in a bowl of water and extract seeds. This is way less messy than harvesting the seeds on the counter, and doesn't stain your hands. Refrigerate until ready to use.
 9) When white layer is done setting, prepare another large bowl of ice water.
10) Combine remaining packet of unflavored gelatin, raspberry gelatin, remaining tablespoon of lemon/lime juice and cran-raz juice in a small saucepan. Heat until just boiling.
11) Just as with white layer, place saucepan in the ice water and stir frequently until the mixture is cool but still liquid.
12) Add pomegranate seeds to cool liquid.
13) Pour pomegranate mixture onto white layer. Pomegranate seeds will naturally float to the top.
14) Chill for at least 4 hours.
15) Cut with a sharp, warm knife.

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