Sunday, February 8, 2009

CSA week nine - Black sapote chews, a second try

The failure of this recipe a few days ago because of my lack of attention rather than any intrinsic fault of the recipe has been bugging me. I've got one sapote left so I wanted to give it another try.

Into my brand new 1 quart saucier went:
1/2 cup sapote pulp
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup smashed walnuts (The bulk bags at Fresh Market are pretty sturdy so I left my leftover walnuts in their bag and whacked at them with my crab mallet. I figure the powdery, buttery mush would help thicken up the mix and infuse the flavor better than chunks would.)
1/2 Tablespoon salted butter
1 egg (whole instead of just the yolk to lighten it up)
1 squeeze lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract (messing about with cocoa and coffee with black sapote is certainly interesting, but the classic additions of lemon and vanilla aren't to be ignored.)

I brought it to a simmer, turn the heat way down and stirred constantly as it cooked and thickened up. Instead of timing it, I kept track of the temperature with a candy thermometer. I was hoping it would act like a proper confection, but the temperature stopped rising at 205 degrees. The mix was probably too shallow for a proper reading. I judged by texture and the immediate threat of burning instead.

When I was afraid to cook it any longer I spread it out on parchment paper on a sheet pan and let it cool for a half hour and then into the refrigerator for another hour. Still more of a paste than a chew. So, I am mixing in just 1/8 teaspoon of xantham gum. Huh, no change. That's odd. Xanthan gum is pretty powerful; 1/8 teaspoon should have thickened it right up. Does xanthan gum go stale? Ah well.

Flavor's not half bad, though--the raw black sapote mellowed and enriched with the molasses, citrus and vanilla notes --and the texture is thick and creamy. Call it black sapote butter-- very nice on a slice of toast.


drlindak said...

This sounds delicious - I would try it, but alas the sapote are all gone, into another enormous double batch of your black sapote oat bars. Looking forward to bringing them to my office and book club tomorrow - the household allotment was already devoured.

kat said...

You are daring risking a new pan after the last one!

billjac said...

I figured if I kept the heat low and stirred constantly I could keep it from burning, but even with that, as it cooked down it was a near thing. If I were going to make this again, I think I might try using the microwave instead.