Oi! I must confess, I am stuffing myself silly here in Brazil. Fresh mango, pineapple, coconut water, papaya... the food of Heaven, right?
I have a very special treat for you today. Another amiga from this blog world is sharing one of her family recipes from Brazil, perfect for those of you who love tropical fruit. (Is there anyone who doesn't???) Lulu is known for her sweet treats and lovely photography that accompanies it. Her recipes and her pictures make my mouth water. Visit her page at Lulu's Sweet Secrets to see that I speak the truth. And make sure you have a napkin ready to catch all that drool... ;)
My home state in Brazil, Minas Gerais, is famous for their traditional culinary. One of the most popular are sweets made just with fruits and sugar syrup, called compote. Cooking fresh fruits with water and sugar is a tradition inherited from colonial times adapted for tropical fruits, such as cashews and green papayas. Today I have the pleasure to share with you Papaya Rolls Compote.
I grew up watching my mother, grandmother, and aunts making large amounts of sweets on a farm using huge copper pans. Most of those sweets still remain as the main dessert of my family gatherings. Papaya compote is one of my favorite. There are many ways to make it: grated with molasses, in cubes, or in rolls. All of them are delicious, but the shaped rolls are the most beautiful.
Be sure the papaya that you are using is green and firm, otherwise it will be very hard to peel the strips. I had this experience with the first papaya that I bought for this post. It was so ripe that was impossible to obtain the strips. Then, roll the strips and connect them together with a needle and a piece of thread. It’s a little bit of work, but at the end your efforts are well worth it. To obtain the correct firmed consistency, keep the papaya rolls overnight in a bowl with some sugar (use the same weight of sugar as you used for the papaya). You will observe on the next day that a large quantity of water will be released from papaya. Place the entire content of the bowl in a pan and cook until boiling.
1 green papaya
The same weight of sugar as the papaya
Cloves if you like
1. With the aid of a knife make slits on the papaya peel. A whitish liquid will be released and this takes away the bitterness of green papaya. Rinse well after one hour.
2. Cut the papaya in half and remove the seeds (do not peel the papaya). Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin fitted with a flat blade, slice the papaya into paper-thin strips and place in a bowl.
3. Prepare a needle and a sewing line; secure the line with a knot, and roll each piece of papaya as tight as you can without breaking the fruit. Slide them close together on the sewing line, fitting as many as you can and tie a knot after the last piece of rolled fruit. You will have to prepare many strings to use the whole fruit.
4. Keep the papaya rolls overnight in a bowl with some sugar. You will observe on the next day that a large quantity of water will be released from papaya. Place the entire content of the bowl in a pan and cook until boiling.
5- While the fruit is cooking, sterilize the jars in the oven or in hot water bath.
6- Remove the pan from the heat. Remove each string from the syrup, cut the string, release each rolled papaya from the sewing line, and return them to the syrup. Repeat the process until all fruit are released.
7- Carefully ladle some syrup and papaya into the hot sterilized jars, leaving ½ inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles by running a long wooden utensil such as a chopstick or wooden skewer between the jar and the syrup. Wipe the rims clean and seal according to the jar’s manufacturer. Process the jars in boiling water bath for 40 minutes, and then turn off the heat. Wait 5 minutes and then lift the jars using tongs or a lifter. Transfer the jars to a towel lined baking sheet and let them rest. Check the seals and wipe the jars.