Spherification is a cool technique that transforms liquids into solid, edible spheres.
Have you heard about our Young Chefs’ Club? Members get a themed (and kid-tested) box delivered each month!
Add 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice to small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over surface of juice. Use rubber spatula to stir until no large lumps of gelatin remain. Set aside.
Use oven mitts to remove liquid measuring cup from microwave (ask an adult for help). Pour hot pomegranate juice into bowl with gelatin mixture. Whisk mixture until fully combined and no lumps remain.
Remove container of oil from refrigerator and place in center of large bowl. Arrange ice around container of oil. (Surrounding the oil with ice will keep it cold while you’re forming your spheres.) Carefully remove lid from container of oil.
Fill second medium bowl about halfway with cold water. Transfer spheres from fine-mesh strainer to bowl of cold water. Use rubber spatula to gently stir spheres in water. Working over sink, gently pour water-sphere mixture back into strainer, letting water go down drain. Serve. (Leftover spheres can be stored in airtight container, covered with layer of vegetable oil, for up to 1 week. Follow steps 8 and 9 to rinse spheres before serving.)
How do those liquid droplets transform into solid, round spheres? There are two star players on the spherification team: gelatin and cold oil. When the room-temperature gelatin mixture drips into the cold oil, the drop in temperature almost instantly transforms the liquid droplet into a solid sphere. If the oil isn’t cold enough, the droplets won’t form round spheres—they’ll look more like blobs (but they’ll still be tasty). (Gelatin mixtures are liquid above 50 degrees and solid below 50 degrees.
Speaking of our other star ingredient, you might have heard that oil and water don’t mix. Squeezing drops of flavorful liquid (that’s made mostly of water) into the oil causes the liquid to squeeze together in tight little sphere shapes. The oil pushes the flavorful liquid into the smallest shape it can form—not loose blobs, not egg shapes or cubes, but perfect, round spheres!