Cooking With Dorcas: Eat Fresh, Get Your Chef On…
By Dorcas Shiloj
In the middle of this relatively mild rainy season I often spend my time walking in the markets of beautiful Xelajú, looking for and watching for one of my favorite foods to come into season: apples. You can usually find imported apples year-round, but for the more sour and smaller apples from Guatemala this is the best time to buy. While good raw for a treat as you are walking around, apples are also delicious in a traditional desert called Dulce de Manzana. This recipe will serve between four to six people.
First thing you need to do is buy all of your ingredients. Get two pounds of apples from La Demo which should run you Q3/lb if you know how to bargain. (Although, I have heard that apples go for Q2.50/lb out at Terminal). Again, it’s important to use real Guatemalan apples, and not imported apples, or your dish will turn out to be too bland. You can pick up Q2 worth of cinnamon from anyone selling spices; stick form is better than powder. Total spent on this desert: Q8. Not bad, right? You’ll also need some brown sugar (might need to go to Paiz or Hiper to find it), but I already had that on hand.
Ingredients acquired and back at home, take a medium or large pot and fill it with around one liter of water. Add a stick or two of cinnamon and 1 ¼ C of the brown sugar. Stir in order to dissolve the brown sugar as best you can. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. While the water begins to boil (it should turn the color of coffee because of the cinnamon and sugar) begin to peel the apples. Apples can be cored, halved or quartered depending on personal preference. Let the apples boil for around 15 minutes, making sure that they are tender without getting mushy.
This delicious seasonal dessert can be served hot or cold, according to taste. Personally, I think that this tastes best served hot on a cold night. Serve in a dish with a little bit of the syrup in the bottom of the bowl; ice cream is optional for those who really like it sweet. Buen provecho!
2 Lbs Apples (Q6 @ La Demo); 1 Cinnamon Stick (Q2 @ La Demo) 1 1/4 cups of Brown Sugar (bags range in price, easy to find at Hiper) Ice Cream (optional)