I know, the photo turned out a bit scary looking. There was no way to fix it since the rest of the batch was eaten earlier. Oh boy, were they good!

I guess there’s no need to tell you about the antioxidant properties and all other health-benefits of the pomegranate juice – everyone is amazingly educated these days. But if you find juicing of fresh fruit somewhat labor-intensive (honestly, I do) or simply can’t find fresh pomegranate (they are seasonal), there’s a blessed product – POM Wonderful – natural juice which is available year round in any well-stocked grocery store.

Makes 9 sandwiches

For the brownies:

  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa nibs, crushed

For the ice cream:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh beet juice (it’s not just another antioxidant added, it’s really needed for attractive ice cream color)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tbsp tequila

Make the brownies:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two 8-inch pans with parchment paper, lightly butter or oil-spray the paper.

Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a wide skillet. Turn the heat off. Combine the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl in the hot water. Stir constantly until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together, then whisk in the sugars, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir in the chocolate and butter mixture, then fold in the flour. Fold in the cocoa nibs.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and spread evenly. It will be a thin layer, and that’s just the way it’s supposed to be. Bake briefly for just about 12 minutes or so. Cool in the pans on a rack.

The brownies for the ice cream sandwiches have to be thin and underbaked. They will firm up a bit further in the freezer, but not too much to become a hockey puck.

Make the ice cream, assemble the sandwiches:

Prepare an ice bath.

In a large heavy saucepan, combine the milk, whipping cream, and ¼ cup of the sugar. Heat over medium heat to a boiling point.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, remaining ¼ cup of the sugar, and the salt to combine well. Very gradually, in a thin stream, whisk in the hot milk mixture. Return the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan. Cook the custard over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard coats the back of the spoon. Quickly strain the custard into a large bowl set over the ice water. Add the pomegranate juice, beet juice, lime juice, and tequila and whisk to combine. Cool, whisking often. Chill, covered, in the fridge for at least 4 hours, better – overnight.

Right before freezing, whisk the custard energetically to aerate the mixture. Freeze in the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s direction. While the ice cream is churning, line an 8-inch square pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Fit one brownie slab, top side down, into the bottom of the pan (handle the brownie gently). Once the ice cream is done, spread it evenly over the brownie layer in the pan and top with the second brownie slab, this time – top side up. Cover with plastic wrap and put into the freezer to firm up, for at least 4 hours or overnight. With a warm dry knife, cut into squares and serve, or wrap well and store in the freezer until needed, for up to a couple of days.