This post was sponsored by Paderno. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
My long term memory is strong, vivid and somewhat creepy. A couple years ago I ran into a classmate from grade 5 on the bus. Her face was exactly the same. Dimpled chin, large freckles and green eyes. I had fond memories of her. The first time I ever had a pomegranate was in fact when Kelly offered me half the fruit. I still remember sitting in the classroom portable and Kelly telling me that we had to count how many little “ruby” seeds there were in one pomegranate. It was something she would do with her brother at home. Count every single red juicy gem and report back home on a pomegranate chart. Apparently the average was 500.
I remember that first seed I popped into my mouth. The sweet, sharp yet sour juice bursting in my mouth was unique. And simply a lot of fun plucking the little gems and counting them.
“Kelly Jamieson? It’s me. Betty Binon…Sorry Betty Shin.” Kelly squinted her eyes, tilted her head and replied a long “Hiii” She didn’t recognize me. I proceeded to explain the school we attended, our teacher, what we did together, the pomegranate counting, etc. She still had no idea who I was but did acknowledge she attended that school and had that teacher. The squinting didn’t subside. I could see Kelly was bemused and a little uncomfortable.
It has been about 30 years since that day we plucked rubies together. My recollection of Kelly was that of a precocious child. A girl beyond her years especially when it came to food. It wasn’t only pomegranates she introduced me to. Baklava, marinated mussels, cabbage rolls and curried chicken salad…with grapes! (Ahem. I know. So 80’s!)
As I got off the bus and walked to my destination. I began to remember more to the story. The only reason I got to try her baklava, and curried chicken salad…with grapes was because she would trade her much despised lunches for my simple ham and cheese sandwich. Very precocious indeed!
That Christmas for our gift swap I received 3 large red pomegranates from Kelly with a card that had the biggest THANK YOU written.
THANKS TO YOU Kelly. The beginnings of my foodie spirit started in that classroom portable because of you…and your mom!
Happy Holidays! Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy 2019!
- 227 grams or 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (not cold but not quite room temp…take out about 1 hour before baking) + more for greasing pan
- 400 grams or 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup natural full fat greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice from about 1 large orange
- 3 tablespoons of Grand Marnier
- zest from about 1 orange
- 390 grams or 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 65 grams or 1/3 cup turbinado sugar (optional…see instructions)
- 310 grams or 2 1/2 cups Icing sugar
- 4 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- 1/3 cup pure 100% pomegranate juice (store bought) or extracted from about 1/2 a fresh pomegranate * See notes below on how to make home made pomegranate juice
- 6 kumquats sliced about 1/2 cm thick
- some pomegranate seeds to sprinkle
- Rosemary to garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Grease Paderno’s 9x 13” Oblong pan with butter and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. This step is optional as the pan is completely non stick, however the turbinado is great for a mild sugar crunch on the crust.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and whisk well. Set aside
- Mix the 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier and 1/3 cup orange juice and set aside
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, on medium speed beat the butter and sugar for about 2-3 minutes until creamy and light in colour
- Add the eggs in one at a time until incorporated
- Then add the Greek yogurt
- Add about half of the dry flour mix into your stand mixer bowl, beat for a few seconds until the flour is just incorporated
- Then add the orange juice/Grand Marnier mix, beat a few seconds
- Finish with the remaining half dry flour mix
- DO NOT over beat. Beat lightly until just combined
- Pour into oblong pan and bake in oven for 35 minutes.
- Tester stick should come out clean
- Let cool to room temperature about 1 hour
- In the meanwhile, beat together the icing sugar, pomegranate juice and grand marnier until smooth.
- Take a spatula and smooth out over your sheet cake
- Sprinkle the kumquots, pomogranates, and rosemary
- Serve when the kumquat skins soften and slightly caramelize in the icing after a couple hours sitting at room temperature
- How to extract fresh pomegranate juice.
- Split pomegranate in half and juice in a traditional citrus juicer. Then run the juice through a fine mesh sieve
- The longer way. Extract all the seeds from half a pomegranate. Take a fresh cheese cloth and squeeze the juices into a bowl
- Take the extracted seeds and blend in a blender and run through a fine mesh sieve