I don't want to get political here, but this is a Washington thing. Sometimes the everyday world of us Washingtonians -- school, work, laundry, food -- collides with the political. I came up with this recipe 4 years ago when the city was swept up with the inauguration of a new president. My then-four old called the pomegranate on our counter an Obamagranate and an idea was born. The only down side to this recipe is that the pomegranate loses its vibrant color in the making of the custard. The syrup solves that, though, and adds even more pomegranate flavor. —[email protected]
Mix the cream, milk, and lemon zest in a small pot, bring to a boil and immediately remove from the heat. Let sit for approximately 30 minutes to cool.
To squeeze the juice from the pomegranate, leave the skin on and cut it in half through the middle. Squeeze it as you would a lemon or lime. I use an old-fashioned lemon squeezer and then press any seeds that still retain their juice through a metal sieve. Some of the juice may squirt out, so I recommend putting the squeezer in the bottom of a deep bowl.
In a small stock pot, mix the pomegranate juice and 2/3 cup of the sugar and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream mixture.
In a heat-proof bowl, mix together the egg yolks, the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, and the salt. Add the cream mixture slowly, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the stove and cook over medium heat until the custard has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon or it registers 170 degrees on a thermometer. Let the custard cool, then add the vanilla.
Chill the custard in the refrigerator for several hours until it is completely cooled.
Toast the macadamia nuts by putting them in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they brown slightly, about 5 minutes. Coarsely chop them.
Freeze the ice cream according to the instructions of your ice cream maker. Add the macadamias about five minutes before the end of the process. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until the ice cream is firm.
To make the syrup, mix the pomegranate juice and sugar in a small pan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves. Continue to let the mixture simmer until it begins to thicken, another 10 to 15 minutes. Pour it into a small jar and let it cool in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Drizzle on top of the ice cream.