BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

A Sticky Situation

38 Comments

Have you ever heard the advice that you should lay off those plans to prepare any new and potentially disastrous recipe when expecting company?  I sure have, from countless sources on numerous occasions, but you would need to chain me down and keep me out of the kitchen altogether to prevent that from happening.  Guests, you say; Intelligent, food-loving guinea pigs, I say.  What better time could there possibly be to whip out something experimental and exciting than when you can collect a dozen opinions at a time?  Dinner parties are really just elaborate excuses to pull taste-testers into the house, right?  Sure, people might get hungry and cranky when things go wrong (and oh, do they ever,) and you certainly wouldn’t win the Hostess of the Year award, but I for one can’t resist the temptation.

Thankfully, since I only take charge of dessert most of the time, no one starves around here, but the awkward situation remains the same. What should one do if the dessert sucks? Throw it on the floor and hope the dog scoops it up before anyone notices? Say flat out how horrible it was?

Or just choose one redeeming aspect of it, and pretend like the rest doesn’t even take up space on the same plate. That’s the one I usually get, and that’s why I’m only posting the filling of this tart that was made for Hannukah dinner this past Saturday.

Super sweet and only barely offset by the tangy flavors of pomegranate and orange, the thinnest sliver of this little number will do you. In fact, you could quite happily prepare the filling without a crust, pouring it into a jar and using it as a caramel sauce instead. That’s the thing though- This crust, which you can easily see by the photo, was way too thick and tough. Should you decide to go the tart route as well, just use your favorite pie crust and there won’t be any awkward moments of silence at the dinner table while all of your guests try fruitlessly to stab and sever that brick-like shell at the bottom of their plates.

Pomegranate Caramel [Tart Filling or Sauce]

1/2 Cup Unsweetened, 100% Pomegranate Juice
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Pomegranate Molasses
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Margarine, Cut into Small Cubes
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
2 Teaspoons Orange Zest

Place a medium saucepan with high sides over moderate heat, and combine the pomegranate juice, sugar, pomegranate molasses, and salt inside. Cover with a lid until it reaches a boil (be very careful to pay attention to it, lest you walk away at the precise moment it bubbles up and over the pan… Not like I know about this.) Remove the lid, insert a candy thermometer, and cook the mixture, swirling the pan occasionally to mix, until it reaches 248 – 250 degrees.

Add in the margarine and coconut milk, standing back from the stove in case it should splash and sputter, and stir the mixture until combined. Continue to cook it until it returns to 248 degrees, and then turn off the heat. Immediately add the orange zest and pour into a pre-baked 9-inch tart shell to make the dessert, or a number of glass jars if to use it as caramel sauce. You will probably have a little extra caramel left over if using a tart shell too, so have a jar out just in case.

Let cool completely, and chill the tart thoroughly before serving. Drizzle with chocolate ganache if desired. Keep the leftover tart chilled, or else the filling is liable to slide right out of its crust at room temperature.

Seal jars of caramel sauce well and store in the fridge. Heat briefly in the microwave before stirring and serving.

One Tart Serves 18 – 24; Makes 2 1/2 – 3 Cups Caramel Sauce

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

38 thoughts on “A Sticky Situation

  1. The caramel looks and sounds absolutely delicious.

  2. O haha… Well I am sure that doesn’t happen very often that guests are having an issue with your desserts!! I do like to use my friends as guinea pigs for cooking, but when it comes to more serious stuff, such as christmas dinner, I do test everything before the main event! I would crumble under the stress otherwise..:)

  3. fruit + caramel + chocolate = wonderful in a tart crust!
    happy holidays! :)

  4. Looks delicious! Even if the crust didn’t work out…. The filling sounds (and looks!) amazing.

  5. You know, I’ve never been a fan of pie crust anyway…I’d rather just eat the filling! This one looks divine.

  6. Sounds like it’d be the perfect ice cream topper!

  7. i loved your post. I do the exact same thing sometimes – I am always looking for an excuse to try a new recipe. can be dangerous though. I actually just wrote a post about my baking mishaps. the filling looks delicious though – way to figure out a way to salvage it in the future :)

  8. Oooh I would love to be one of your dessert testers!
    xo
    Eco Mama

  9. i can’t imagine being anything but appreciative for a chance to eat desserts made by you!

  10. Oh this cake looks absolutely beautiful and I just love the idea of pairing it with fruity flavors AND ganache!

  11. Pomegranate caramel sounds delicious. I’m always cooking things for the first time for guests or other events–there are so many things I want to make!

  12. I do the same thing – it would be so boring to make something old for guests – sometimes I end up with a success and sometimes my choice to make something un-tested bites me on the arse. But everyone knows what they are getting into when they are trying a new recipe. Your tart looks gorgeous, tough crust and all.

  13. What a beautiful and elegant tart!

  14. Mmmmm, caramel! My fav!

  15. isn’t this a clever combination? love it.

  16. What an amazing and appetizing picture!

  17. This looks divine! Yeah, not sure what is about holidays and dinner get togethers that make me want to try new recipes. I have had a disaster or two which always involves Martha Stewart recipes.

  18. Eeep! Sorry your dessert didn’t work out as you had planned – it looks gorgeous though!! I’m sure it tasted fantastic :)

  19. I want to pour that caramel sauce all over ice cream and eat it. :-)

  20. Well you could have fooled us, it looks perfect! Maybe you could try it with a different crust next time you have the same guests over :)
    I tend to do the same thing but worse still its a recipe ive tried before but then whenever I cook the same recipes for others, it often flops! and its usually the sweets.
    Oh well im sure the perfect sweets you make outweigh the bad by far.

    Rose

  21. I like to use my family and friends as guinea pigs too – how else will I learn?! Hehe, I’ve had a few failures myself but at least yours still looks perfect. The filling sounds great!

  22. I agree, guest are like guinea pigs to me too! LOL Too bad about the crust, but the filling does sound delicious!!

  23. My jaw is on the floor. (Seems like I start a lot of my comments on your blog like that!) That looks ALMOST too pretty to eat. I can’t even believe the gorgeous flavor combinations you’ve got going on in there, such an unusual and tasty combination. Love it! Thanks for what is sure to be another winning recipe.

  24. Your dessert recipes are always devine. However, the idea of using your family members as “guinea pigs” is unsettling, speciesist, and decidedly not vegan. Just a thought…

  25. Where on earth do you get pomegranate molasses? Or how do you make it?

  26. Amazing! You never cease to impress me.

  27. That filling does look luscious! I love to use my guests as guinea pigs. But I usually make 2 dishes – hopefully both are good, but certainly at least one will turn out!

  28. Wow Hannah. Just.Wow. Your photos keep getting lovelier and lovelier. I didn’t think it was possible.

    You have a great holiday, you hear?

  29. stunning, and i can’t wait to give that a try :) you’re amazing!

  30. Aw well the flavors sound lovely and it still looks quite nice! I definitely make new things for company all the time. Fortunately it usually works out, but my friends are pretty understanding even when it doesn’t. What are friends for if not to be your guinea pigs? ;p

  31. Wow! This looks so good! The pomegranate seeds make this dish pop! My mouth is watering now :)

  32. That looks soooo good. I would have sampled it for you.

  33. Haha love how you use dinner parties as a way to test recipes! I would love to be one of your guinea pigs! This tart looks good, though I know you said the crust didn’t work out. I am a real crust lover so I imagine I would’ve happily eaten my way through my slice.

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