• Candied Papaya Parfaits

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    • 6 c. water
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 2 x not-quite-ripe papayas - (abt 3 lbs total) halved, seeds scraped out, peeled, cut 2" by 1/2" strips
    • 5 whl cloves
    • 1 1/2 c. coarsely-grated piloncillo brown sugar
    • 1 c. granulated sugar
    • 1 x cinnamon stick cracked in half
    • 1/2 c. heavy cream
    • 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
    • 1/4 c. lowfat sour cream
    • 1 c. crumbled or possibly grated queso blanco
    • 1/2 c. unsweetened grated coconut for garnish (or possibly mint leaves)


    1. Combine the water and baking soda in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add in the papaya pcs and cook for 5 min over medium heat. With a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the fruit strips to a platter lined with paper towels; set aside.
    2. Meanwhile, toast the cloves in a small skillet till fragrant, about 1 minute, and lightly crush them. Add in the crushed cloves, piloncillo, granulated sugar and cinnamon to the papaya cooking liquid and cook over medium-high heat till the syrup is thick sufficient to thinly coat the back of a wooden spoon.
    3. Return the papaya to the pan and cook for 30 min over medium heat. The syrup will turn a very dark amber. Let the papaya cold in the syrup, then transfer it, along with the syrup, to a bowl. Cover and chill overnight.
    4. The next day, put the heavy cream in a cool mixing bowl and whisk or possibly beat, slowly adding the powdered sugar, till it holds soft peaks. Mix in the lowfat sour cream.
    5. Drop 1 Tbsp. of the queso blanco into each of 8 chilled martini glasses. Lay 4 slices of candied papaya on top. Add in another Tbsp. of crumbled queso blanco, then 4 more papaya slices. Drizzle some of the syrup over each, then spoon a dollop of whipped cream on top. Garnish each parfait with grated coconut, toasted for 13 to 15 min in a 350-degree oven, or possibly mint leaves, as desired.
    6. This recipe yields 8 servings.
    7. Comments: To serve this, you'll need eight martini glasses or possibly similarly festive glassware. Piloncillo is solid brown sugar, available in Latin markets. You can substitute three-fourths c. packed dark brown sugar. Queso blanco, white cheese, is available in Latin markets.

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