This past week was a toughie.
Both Dan and Kieran were SUPER sick (Dan had pneumonia!), and tending to them pretty much dominated my whole life. Not that I mind, of course, but nothing got done!
I am behind at work. I am behind on housework. You should see the laundry piles around here. Oy. I made actual food for dinner on Friday for the first time all week and it felt like the greatest accomplishment in the world. I’ve also entered the waddling stage of my pregnancy, which makes me feel sluggish, awkward, and slow. Bending over to pick up something as simple as a dog toy feels like such an effort these days! And don’t even get me started on my readiness (or complete lack thereof) for Christmas next week…
Yeah, this week is shaping up to be another crazy one.
Luckily, I have this AMAZING chocolate pomegranate tart sitting in my freezer right now, and it is everything I want and more in a holiday dessert. It’s festive, gorgeous, and absolutely decadent.
I mentioned this in my last favorites post, but I have been obsessed with these pomegranate chocolates for a few years now. I buy them in the bulk bags and always (ALWAYS) have a bag in the pantry. They are the perfect sweet treat for me because they are intensely chocolatey with the best chew and slight fruity tartness. They are seriously addicting. But they are rich enough that you only need a handful. They conquer my sweet cravings immediately.
I have wanted to model a dessert after these flavors for forever now. And I finally did it. Just in time for the holidays!
This chocolate pomegranate tart is not only a thing of beauty, but it tastes like a dream. It starts with a chocolate cookie crust (I used Oreos!) that couldn’t be easier to make. You break up the cookies in a food processor (you can also crush them in a plastic bag with a rolling pin), mix them with a little melted butter, and press them into your tart pan. It doesn’t have to be perfect! It will firm up just right in the fridge/freezer and be the easiest tart crust you ever made. Plus, it’s CHOCOLATE, which makes it more exciting.
Next comes the filling. OMG, you guys. Pomegranate curd is a THING, and I have never been happier. It is flippin’ DELICIOUS. If you love the tart sweetness of pomegranate, you have to try this curd!
I took a basic lemon curd recipe and swapped in pomegranate juice. I kept a little lemon in the mix because I had a feeling it would enhance the flavors even more, and I’m so glad I did. The curd doesn’t come out tasting like lemon at all, but I think you would miss the punch the lemon adds if you didn’t include it. It really highlights the pomegranate nicely.
I weirdly find making fruit curds therapeutic. That might be the weirdest sentence I have ever typed, hah.
Really though, I like the process of standing over the stove, gently stirring the pot the whole time, and watching magic happen before my eyes. It is not difficult to do at all, as long as you ensure that you don’t ever let the pot get too hot, and the result is SO MUCH BETTER than anything you can buy in a jar at the store. Pinky promise. There is something absolutely heavenly about a spoonful of warm, freshly made fruit curd. If you haven’t tried it at home yet, I encourage you to do so! You won’t be sorry.
Once your curd has thickened up properly, you have the option of adding a dramatic punch of red in the way of food coloring. This is totally optional! But I love the drama it adds. It really lets you know that it is POMEGRANATE curd. I use a more natural food coloring gel that you can find on Amazon or at most kitchen supply stores. It makes me feel a teensy bit better about adding color to our foods.
Then, the curd gets strained and poured into the cookie tart crust. Into the freezer it goes to set for a few hours! It’s ready and waiting for you whenever you need it.
When you are ready to serve, I highly recommend that you serve this with the pomegranate ganache shown in these pictures. Not only does it really drive home the chocolate flavor that my beloved candies have, but it also sweetens up the situation a bit. Plus! Who doesn’t love the look of melty, glossy chocolate drizzled over their food?
It only takes a couple minutes to make, and you CAN make it ahead and reheat it gently in the microwave. I tested this and it worked like a charm. One word of warning, though: this stuff is addicting. It’s rich and creamy and chocolatey (of course), but it also has the subtle tang and fruitiness of pomegranate. Which reminds me of my pomegranate chocolates! Which I am also completely addicted to. Hah.
I love the temperature contrast of the cold tart and the warm ganache, too. It really is a special experience, akin to the effect hot fudge has when served over ice cream.
A sprinkling of pomegranate arils really sends home the message that this is a fancy-ass dessert fit for the holidays. Just look at how gorgeous!
I love having desserts like this ready to go ahead of time, and the fact that it is a freezer tart makes it completely do ahead. Your guests will be SO impressed when you pull this out of the fridge. I promise.
Plus, an added bonus if you’re having a week like me: a sliver of this tart is an amazing way to end long and stressful days. Because chocolate heals all wounds!
24 Oreo cookies (I used the Double Stuf)
Pinch of fine salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 cup sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter, diced
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
Pinch of fine salt
A few drops of red food coloring (optional)
¼ cup pomegranate juice
½ cup heavy cream
Pinch of fine salt
12 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Pomegranate arils, for serving
Pulse the cookies and salt in a food processor until fine crumbs form. With the machine running, stream in the melted butter. The mixture should be slightly moist and crumbly.
Press the mixture into a buttered, 9-inch tart pan, evenly pressing it into the corners and up the sides. Chill the crust in the fridge for at least 45 minutes before filling.
Put the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and zest in a pot over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves.
Reduce the heat to low, making sure the mixture is below a simmer, and whisk in the butter, eggs, egg yolks, and salt.
Stir almost constantly, keeping the mixture below a simmer, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula, about 8 minutes. If you want a dramatically red filling, add in a couple drops of red food coloring. This is a completely optional addition.
Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Stir to slightly cool down the mixture.
Pour the warm pomegranate curd into the prepared crust and allow to cool to room temperature.
Transfer the filled tart to the freezer and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
In a small saucepan, whisk together the pomegranate juice, heavy cream, and salt. Place over medium-low heat and, stirring almost constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer. As soon as it starts to bubble, remove from the heat.
Place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and pour the hot cream mixture over top. Allow it to sit for a minute and then gently whisk until a smooth, pourable, deeply chocolate sauce forms.
Serve the frozen tart drizzled with the warm ganache and garnished with pomegranate arils.