Mexican Christmas Fruit Punch

Ingredients

  • 16 cups (1 gallon) wate
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 5 long tamarind pods, husks removed, and seede
  • 8 ounces whole tejocotes or crab apples
  • 6 large guavas, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium red apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 medium pear, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 (4-inch) sugar cane sticks, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 medium orange, sliced
  • 8 ounces chopped piloncillo, or 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • Brandy or tequila (1 ounce per cup of punch, optional)

Direction

1. Place the water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, tamarind pods, and tejocotes or crab apples in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the tejocotes are soft, about 10 minutes.

2. Remove the tejocotes or crab apples from the pot with a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, peel, trim the ends, halve, and remove the seeds. Return the apple halves to the pot.

3. Add the guavas, apples, pear, sugarcane, prunes, raisins, orange, and piloncillo. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the cinnamon sticks and cloves.

4. To serve, ladle the punch into coffee cups or mugs, making sure each cup gets some chunks of fruit. If desired, add 1 ounce of brandy or tequila to each cup.