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Candied Papaya Parfaits


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  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 not-quite-ripe papayas - (abt 3 lbs total) halved, seeds
  • scraped out, peeled, cut 2" by 1/2" strips
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely-grated piloncillo brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick cracked in half
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup crumbled or grated queso blanco
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut for garnish (or mint leaves)


Servings 8


Step 1

Combine the water and baking soda in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the papaya pieces and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. With a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the fruit strips to a platter lined with paper towels; set aside.

Meanwhile, toast the cloves in a small skillet until fragrant, about 1 minute, and lightly crush them. Add the crushed cloves, piloncillo, granulated sugar and cinnamon to the papaya cooking liquid and cook over medium-high heat until the syrup is thick enough to thinly coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Return the papaya to the pan and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat. The syrup will turn a very dark amber. Let the papaya cool in the syrup, then transfer it, along with the syrup, to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, put the heavy cream in a cold mixing bowl and whisk or beat, slowly adding the powdered sugar, until it holds soft peaks. Fold in the sour cream.

Drop 1 tablespoon of the queso blanco into each of 8 chilled martini glasses. Lay 4 slices of candied papaya on top. Add another tablespoon of crumbled queso blanco, then 4 more papaya slices. Drizzle some of the syrup over each, then spoon a dollop of whipped cream on top. Garnish each parfait with grated coconut, toasted for 13 to 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven, or mint leaves, as desired.

This recipe yields 8 servings.

Each serving: 382 calories; 4 grams protein; 61 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 15 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 40 mg. cholesterol; 311 mg. sodium.

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