Holiday Pomegranate Torte with Lemon Cheer! (Vegan)

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I finally got fed up with the last of our homegrown pomegranates taking up too much fridge storage space; it was time they had to go. After forcefully yanking on the crisping drawer and smashing the tumbling poms over one another, I painstakingly pried them apart one at a time under a large bowl of water and removed each and every aril. With all the seeds I accumulated, I could’ve done the usual: make juice, sprinkle on salads and cereals, or freeze for later. But during this (way too warm) holiday season, I had a hankering for a new vegan dessert challenge.

First, I created a pomegranate sugar cookie recipe, which was okay, but not exactly up to par in R’s opinion. He knew I could do better, which, despite my feigned sassiness, I agreed. While scrolling the web for ideas, I was intrigued by pomegranate molasses, which isn’t a molasses at all, but a simple syrup. Flavor is the first thing I think of when creating a recipe, and pomegranate molasses…are you kidding me, that would be awesome! To top it off, I would be using seeds and juice from my own homegrown pomegranates. To enhance the sweet and tart pomegranate flavor, I decided to boldly add lemons in my creation. With two full trees, I try to sneak lemons into recipes every chance I get! This idea took me back to my Lemon Torte Classic, which I used as my ground floor model. Inspired by our farm fruits, faux molasses, and a past recipe, I came up with a delectable holiday, recipe-worthy, treat: Holiday Pomegranate Torte with Lemon Cheer!

FYI:  Since flour is used, my tortes are more like rich, moist, condensed, cakes.  However, one bite goes a long way, so remember to serve sliver portions, not slices.

Ingredients:

Torte Batter

  • 3 cheggs
  • ¾ cup softened vegan butter (or 2/3 canola oil)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 TBSPS Tripel Sec (or other fruit liqueur)
  • 2 cups flour*
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ cups pomegranate arils (seeds)

*There’s always the option to use 2 cups of any combination of preferred flours, but don’t rely heavy on the meals- keep it light. For example: 1 cup coconut flour combined with ¾ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour and ¼ cup almond meal.

Glaze

  • 1 TBSP pomegranate molasses (prepare a couple of hours in advance, or the day before)
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSPS lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.   Grease a round 9” cake pan (optional: line with parchment paper), 9” Bundt pan, or a baking pan with six 4” Bundt cake cups. You can use a square or rectangular pan equivalent to a 9” round baking dish.

In a bowl, whisk together all of the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a larger bowl, with a whisk or handheld electric mixer, cream the butter (or oil), coconut sugar, and cheggs. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and liqueur and mix until light and fluffy.

Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture and incorporate the ingredients thoroughly.

Add the pomegranate arils, folding them gently into the batter.

Pour the batter evenly into the baking pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a butter knife enters the center and comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake!

Let the torte cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing.

Meanwhile….Make the Glaze

In a bowl, with a whisk or handheld electric mixer, mix the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, zest, and powdered sugar thoroughly.

You can pour the glaze slowly over the cake while it’s still warm and it will spread itself out evenly for the most part. Or, you can let the torte cool completely and drizzle or decorate.

 

Happy Holidays!

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