It’s almost the first weekend of December, and I’m celebrating with these manchego cheese fritters & pomegranate beer jam!
I could not be happier with how this recipe turned out, and I am so excited to share it with you! I bought a few too many pomegranate arils for Thanksgiving, and I knew I needed to use them before they went bad. We also had a few bottles of beer leftover from our Friendsgiving, so pomegranate beer jam it was!
I basically reduced the beer, pomegranate arils, sugar, and lemon juice until it was a thick, “jammy” consistency. The result was this beautiful, rich, tangy topping for these cheesy manchego fritters.
Which are so good…
You need to make these for your first holiday party of the season (and maybe this winter barley salad, too)! They will be such a hit and are honestly very easy to make.
Basically, for the fritters, I made a super simple batter out of flour, eggs, milk, baking powder, and lots of shredded manchego cheese.
If you’re not familiar with manchego cheese, I think you’ll be hooked once you try it. It’s a sheep milk’s cheese from Spain. Sharp, salty, and super buttery. I usually find it in a small wedge and then just trim the rind and shred the cheese myself. It works perfectly folded into this batter. Once fried, the fritter has this really powerful cheese flavor that is very, very good.
And if you’re intimidated by frying at home…don’t be! All I do is heat a pot (I use my Le Creuset Dutch oven, for reference) of safflower oil (you could use any vegetable oil) over medium heat until it reaches 350F. Then you just spoon the batter into the oil, let the fritters cook, and done!
Make sure to season the cheese fritters right when they come out of the oil so that the salt absorbs instead of sliding right off.
And then serve these immediately so they are crisp and fresh. Nothing fried tastes very good after sitting around all night. So, these are the perfect bites to serve right when your guests arrive!
- 8 oz fresh pomegranate arils
- ½ cup beer (I used a pale lager)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- safflower oil, as needed for frying
- 5 oz AP flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt (plus more for finishing)
- 4 oz manchego cheese, shredded
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp whole milk
- Combine the pomegranate arils, beer, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer until it thickens, about 15 minutes. The cooking time will vary, but you’re looking for a thickened, jam-like mixture that stays together. The pomegranate seeds should have softened.
- Meanwhile, fill a medium heavy-bottom pot (like a Dutch oven) half way with safflower oil. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Fold in the cheese. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the milk. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients, using a wooden spoon to stir until the batter comes together.
- Once the oil comes to temperature, spoon the batter into the oil using a small ice cream scoop or two regular spoons. They should be “rustic” looking, so don’t worry about making perfectly round balls. Cook the fritters in the oil for about 5 minutes, or until fully cooked through, using a fork to flip them over half way through the process. Adjust the heat when needed so that the oil remains at 350F. Strain the fritters onto paper towels and immediately season with salt.
- Continue to fry the fritters until all of the batter is used. Serve the fritters immediately with the pomegranate beer jam on the side to spoon over top.
- This recipe makes 6 appetizer/snack portions.