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Author Notes: Traditional ponche often has ingredients that are tough to find at markets in the United States, so we've modified, starting with a recipe from The Mija Chronicles, which was adapted from Fany Gerson's My Sweet Mexico (Ten Speed Press, 2010). —Food52
Makes 3 1/2 quarts
- 2 1/2 to 3 quarts water
- 2 cinnamon sticks, about 6 inches long
- 8 ounces pears, peeled, halved, and seeds removed
- 1/2 cup guava juice
- 2 mild-flavored apples (not Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 four-inch pieces of sugar cane, peeled and cut into thin strips
- 1/2 cup pitted prunes, halved lengthwise
- 1/2 cup dark raisins
- 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons tamarind paste
- 6 to 8 ounces dark brown sugar
- Rum, brandy or tequila (optional)
- Bring water and cinnamon sticks to a boil in a large pot. Meanwhile, grill the pears on a grill pan or grill until soft and charred, about about 5 minutes.
- Place the pears in a pot of cinnamon-water and add the remaining ponche ingredients. Stir to combine and let simmer for at least 30 minutes. If you’re adding alcohol, pour it into the pot right before serving time.
- To serve the ponche, remove the cinnamon sticks and ladle directly into mugs, making sure to include the chunks of cooked fruit. The strips of sugar cane can be served directly into the cup, to suck on after you’re finished drinking.