After almost four weeks of vacation in Panama, I came back recharged and full of ideas and Panamanian recipes to publish here at BlueJellybeans.
The first recipe is one that perhaps only could be made while in Panama, because its main ingredient is Nance, a small yellow fruit native of Panama and other tropical countries of America and the Caribbean.
In Madrid I think it would be impossible to find, although I heard it is exported frozen to some countries. (yellow cherry in English).
His usual presentation in Panama is in bottles filled with water, and are usually small farmers who harvest the fruits and sell in stalls or small businesses. All very artisan.
The taste of Nance is very particular and cannot be compared to any other fruit. It has a touch of acidity, but is sweet and has a juicy white flesh, although sparse, because inside has a fairly large black seed.
This is just one of the ways in which you can enjoy Nance, with it you may do other desserts, soft drinks, ice cream and even strong chicha, a fermented liquor and of course you can eat it fresh.
Like all traditional recipes, in every home and region different recipes are used. Today’s recipe is the one used by my mother and the result is delicious.
PESADA DE NANCE
2 cups of nance (half bottle or so)
1 cup flour (or cornstarch)
2 cups brown sugar (approximately, will depend on the sweetness of the fruit. You can substitute with panela — unrefined whole cane sugar)
4 cups of water (approx. Some of it can be replaced with evaporated milk)
A pinch of salt
Cinnamon to taste (optional)
Milled white cheese to serve. In Panama a national white cheese is used, fresh and salty, similar to feta, but their texture is different.
After washing the nances, we need to separate the pulp from the seeds and skin of the fruit. This can be done by hand, emptying the bottle in a colander and adding a cup of water. With our hands wring the fruits to pass as much pulp as possible, then add a little bit more of water and repeat to make sure all the pulp is out.
It can also be done with a blender. Place the fruits and water in the vase and give it a couple of pulses to separate the pulp without breaking the seed and then pass through a colander.
The resulting juice is very concentrated, we can now taste it to decide whether we need more or less sugar.
Add another cup of water and dissolve the flour or cornstarch in the juice, make sure not to leave any lumps.
Place over the stove and cook; stirring constantly until it thickens, lower the heat and gradually add sugar, one more cup of water, salt and cinnamon to taste.
Continue to simmer, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until it reaches a custard-like texture, about 20 minutes.
Serve in bowls or individual cups with milled white cheese on top.
It may be eaten hot or cold.