Ingredient of the Week: Tejocote
What is it?
This little sweet and sour fruit is also known as a Hawthorn apple, and until recently, was the most smuggled fruit on the Mexican border.
A crab apple with a yellow-orange skin, it is similar in flavor to a kumquat, but with the texture of a mealy apple (I imagine - the one I had was preserved in syrup).
What is it used for?
Tejocotes are used in a traditional heated Mexican fruit punch, called a ponche, served around the holidays. It is made mostly with tropical fruits like pineapple and guava, but the tejocote is the star of the punch.
Just like many traditional recipes, it seems everyone's aunt, grandmother or mother has their own, special recipe, which can vary greatly from family to family.
Tejocotes are also used in jams, candies and paletas (a frozen treat on a stick).
Where can I buy it in Houston?
Foodarama on Antoine has them in jars of syrup, along with many other traditional ponche ingredients, but as for any places that might have them fresh or frozen, please leave any information you have in the comments section.
Ponche de Navidad: Courtesy of The Holy Enchilada