Dress up your sundae with pomegranate. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Pomegranate is a heavy fruit. In ancient tale and tradition, it’s a stand-in for fertility (count those seeds!), power (check out that crown) and demise (taste the tannins). That’s a lot of ground to cover, for a berry.

It’s also a standout in delicious. Fresh, the brilliant seeds add crunch to salad or snack. Dried, they make fine hiking companions. Juiced, they’re all refreshment.

Slowly simmered into syrup, the fruit concentrates into compelling: very sweet and very tart, at once.

Drizzle this sauce (also called molasses or grenadine) over vanilla ice cream for a bowl of contrast: light and dark, creamy and sharp, hot and cold. The dish pays tribute to the original pomegranate fan, Persephone, who downed a few seeds while captive in the underworld, resulting (long story) in summer and winter. How’s that for heavy?

Pomegranate Sundaes

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

  • 4 cups pure pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pint high-quality vanilla ice cream
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate

Pour pomegranate and lemon juice into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until syrupy and reduced to 1 cup, about 1 hour. As the syrup thickens, watch closely and lower heat to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Scoop ice cream into bowls. Drizzle on warm syrup. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Dig in.

Makes 4 servings.

Home on the Range is a Tribune News Service column by Leah Eskin, which offers “delicious essays and insightful recipes.”

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