DULCE DE TEJOCOTE 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

2 l (2 qt) water
1 kg (2 ¼ lb) firm tejocotes (hawthorn fruits)
½ kg (1 1/8 lb) sugar
2 cinnamon sticks 10 cm (4 in)
½ teaspoon anise seeds
3 cloves
4 allspice kernels

PROCEDURE

Heat water in a pot over high heat, bring to a boil. Add the tejocotes. When the skin of the fruit seems to have swollen, reduce heat and peel the tejocotes one by one. Replace them in the hot water and continue cooking to prevent pith oxidation. Wrap the removed peels in a clean cloth or cheesecloth, tie into a small bundle and add to the pot. Continue cooking until the tejocotes are tender, but firm. Remove the peel bundle and the fruit, bathe the tejocotes with some of the cooking liquid and set them aside.
Strain the liquid and return it to pot, adding sugar and spices, and cook over medium heat. Reduce the mix to a syrup consistency. Reduce heat and incorporate previously-drained tejocotes. Boil for 10 additional minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Serve fresh in deep saucers or store in sterilized glass jars.

GLOSS

In Ancient Mexico honey produced by melipona bees and wasps was used as a sweetener, as was syrup obtained by boiling maguey aguamiel. After the arrival of the Spanish, these sweeteners were largely replaced by sugar as well as honey predominantly produced with European bees. Using techniques such as the one described above for dulce de tejocote, sugar is combined with both local fruits and those from other regions, to be preserved for consumption long after harvest season.

Products

Tejocote (Hawthorn)