jeudi 24 février 2011

Pomélo (frais et confit)

La chair délicatement amer du pomélo en fait un agrume à tout faire, rafraîchissant dans le salé, élégant dans le sucré, et délicieux tout seul.

Le pomélo est couramment désigné sous le terme de pamplemousse, alors que le véritable pamplemousse (Citrus maximaCitrus grandis, ou Citrus decumana) est un fruit en forme de poire, de couleur jaune, rosé ou verdâtre, au goût très amer, dont le diamètre peut atteindre 30 cm et qui pèse jusqu’à 3 kilos. On ne le trouve guère sous nos cieux, mais c'est un hybride de cette plante avec une variété d'oranger qui a donné le pomélo, né aux Antilles il y a 200 ans.
Celui-ci, beaucoup plus comestible, doit être lourd et juteux, avec une peau ferme et brillante, lisse, fine, marbrée de rose, ce qui indique une belle maturité. Si la peau est flétrie et terne, il est déshydraté : son jus sera amer et sa chair fibreuse.
On trouve couramment des pomélos à chair rose (sunrise de Floride ou pink marsh), et plus rarement à chair jaune (le royal, de décembre à mars, un peu plus amer mais délicieux). On le cultive dans le sud-est de la France, où il peut supporter des températures de -7° en hiver. La Côte d'Azur et la Corse en produisent d'excellents, qui voyagent malheureusement peu.
Mangez-le en entrée, simplement coupé en deux, ou en jus. Pour les autres utilisations, il faut le peler à vif, en ôtant les parties blanches avec la peau, puis en retirant les quartiers un à un avec un couteau à lame fine, en prenant soin de laisser les membranes interstitielles. Ainsi préparé, le pomélo accompagnent les salades de fruits de mer et les crevettes roses. 
On peut aussi le confire, après l'avoir coupé en huit en laissant la peau. Pour cela, il faut le cuire dans le sirop (150 g de sucre par fruit et assez d'eau pour le recouvrir largement) pendant 30 minutes et laisser refroidir. Le lendemain, filtrez le sirop de cuisson puis versez-le dans une casserole avec 150 g de sucre supplémentaire. Portez à ébullition puis versez sur les pomélos. Laissez de nouveau refroidir, de préférence 24 heures au frigo. Le jour suivant, répétez la même opération, et une troisième fois si nécessaire.
Vous pouvez réaliser le même confisage avec des mandarines, des oranges (avec moins de sucre toutefois).

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